urban planning

The whole world is like a nowhere land called Alicante – Miguel Amorós

A brief, and idiosyncratic, social and economic history of the medium-sized Valencian city of Alicante since the Spanish Civil War, denouncing the negative impact of chaotic development, venal and corrupt politicians, unbridled consumerism, the role played by the automobile in social atomization, the destruction of old working class neighborhoods, real estate speculation, the cynical exploitation of local cultural traditions, the noxious effects of an economy based on tourism, the ruin of traditional agriculture, and the proliferation of hideous skyscrapers in a nauseating panorama of trivialization and degradation that is typical of so many other cities all over the world.

Autonomy, solidarity, possibility: the Colin Ward reader

Colin Ward

Fantastic compilation of writings of the British anarchist writer Colin Ward.

Decentralization and socialism - Senex

Hardly any other idea advanced by the anarchist thinkers was met with as much derision in socialist circles as the idea of free communes, viewed as the nuclei of a new social order federated along political and economic lines.

Reclaiming the urban space

New Babylon by Constant

In cities across the world different forms of popular resistance are appearing at the grassroots level that aim to reclaim and recreate the urban public space.

Communitas revisited

Goodman sketch of Manhattan

A review of Communitas: Means of Livelihood and Ways of Life by Paul and Percival Goodman (University of Chicago Press, 1947). (New revised edition: New York, Vintage Books, 1960, $1.25, London, Mayflower Books, 10s.).

Red Bologna - Max Jäggi, Roger Müller, and Sil Schmid

A post-war history of the Itialian city of Bologna, focusing on its rule by the Italian Communist Party, its movements by various workers councils and co-operatives, and various other fascists of the city.

Are slums another planet? - Bruno Astarian

Bangladesh slum dweller fights back 2013

Bruno Astarian critiques the ideology that reduce slum dwellers to passive victims -- becoming "surplus populations" -- and rejects the flawed reasoning that says they can't be part of the proletariat, nor become conscious. Astarian shows how insurgent workers in slums are fully engaged in some of the most inspiring examples of class struggle today.

Elisée Reclus and the city without limits – José Ardillo

A 2014 critical review of two essays on Elisée Reclus published in 2013, focusing on his somewhat ambivalent views on the city (e.g., he thought that the vast stockyards and slaughterhouse complexes of the Chicago meat industry of 1900 comprised a “model for the mechanization of meat production that should be extended to other cities and countries”), the problematic of how these views fit into his overall theoretical perspective (he was a world-famous libertarian geographer), and the extent to which they are still relevant for our time.

Talking to architects - Colin Ward

Talking to architects - Colin Ward

Ten lectures delivered to professional audiences by Colin Ward gathered over a period of 20 years. The talks explore trends and concepts within the architectural world and discuss attempts by both non-professionals and those within the architectural industries to challenge dominant narratives of the built environment.

Lefebvre on the Situationists: an interview

An at times playful conversation with Henri Lefebvre conducted by Kristin Ross. Lefebvre, then in his eighties, discussed his memories of Guy Debord and the Situationist International as well as his attempts to provoke mischievous students around Nanterre University in 1968, where the May uprisings began. Originally published in October 79 (1997).