URBAN-REV POLITICS, The Urban Revolution and the Political.

Urban-rev politics is on the political implications of speculation-driven urbanism in the current context. Adopting an urban political economy approach we examine the global dimensions of accumulation practices based on rent extraction and the extent to which our ‘urban age’ corresponds to a new kind of ‘urban politics’.

The research is organized around three themes: 1. uneven globalization of real estate markets, 2. exploitation of urban space through rent extraction, 3. the ways in which these are negotiated and contested at different scales.  Through a multi-sited ethnography approach the work is based on case studies in Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, and São Paulo. These cities feature broadly similar processes of property-led (re)developments, and a variety of activist and advocacy networks that challenge these. Additionally all four cities have experienced largely spontaneous mobilizations and/or popular occupations in the recent past.

Key words
Urban land rent, globalization of real estate markets, urban commons, urban social movements

Method
Comparative analysis, transnational ethnography, commodity chain analysis, participant observation, interviews, cartography, discourse analysis, filming.

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