Dr. Philipp Reick - The "Right to the City" from Past to Present: An Interdisciplinary Perspective on Urban Belonging

Dr. Philipp Reick - The "Right to the City" from Past to Present: An Interdisciplinary Perspective on Urban Belonging
Activity Date: 
Wednesday, May 3, 2017

While the social sciences have studied widely contemporary struggles about urban space, historians have largely ignored how lower-class residents perceived and reacted to life in the inner city. Discussing various expressions of working-class discontent from Western Europe to North America, this presentation suggested that urban residents defended their central neighborhoods even though they regularly protested overcrowding and poor housing conditions. In so doing, the presentation showed that working-class urbanites of the past cherished their dense, inner-city neighborhoods for a wide array of reasons–from economic to political, from social to cultural. Comparing past rationalities with contemporary urban social movement rhetoric, the presentation ended with a tentative conclusion about the meaning of the “Right to the City” past and present.