Speculative Urbanism and the New Volatility of City Life
UN-Habitat Director Joan Clos recently declared we would build more urban infrastructure in the next three decades than in all of human history. He was referring to an emergent global imperative to transform our cities into global (or green or smart) cities, as a necessary path to global sustainability. Michael Goldman will explain the origins of the global obsession with urban infrastructure, its transnational spread, and its relationship to the 2008 financial crisis and current regime of urban financialization. The talk will start with trends in Europe and the U.S., then focus on Michael Goldman’s research in India where housing and land dispossession, empty buildings and stalled infrastructure projects co-exist, municipalities have become bankrupt, and private equity firms are major landlords. A range of pressing issues will be discussed: Why has this happened and how are people resisting? Who will pay, who will use such “world-class” facilities? How will this infrastructure solve our most trenchant problems of poverty, inequality, and ecological distress?
Professor Michael Goldman teaches Sociology and Global Studies at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (USA), is currently the V.K.R.V. Chair Professor at the Institute for Social and Economic Change (Bangalore, India), author of Imperial Nature: The World Bank and Struggles for Social Justice in the Age of Globalization (Yale University Press), and is completing a book manuscript on speculative urbanism and the (un)making of global cities.
Comment: Prof. Dr. Sebastian Botzem, Universität Bremen and FU Berlin
Moderation: Dr. Tine Hanrieder, WZB