Unveiling the Right to the City

The right to the city concept has seen a large number of setbacks, back and forths, interpretations and has been given different meanings. Many different agents have claimed the right to the city, from Nanterre University back in the 60’s to the favelas of Rio, the German self-governed groups or even the UN-Habitat.

It is surely of interest to liven up the debate on a concept. Nothing is more point- less than having some principles stated in a book with no practical application of them. Naturally, very often the implementation stage generates disagreements. It is useless for some social movements and inevitable for some others, while some people do not use the term but concretely apply its components. Some, however, use the concept in order to alter the emancipatory potential Henri Lefebvre had thought out.

How can we clarify it? How can we understand what the operators claiming the right to the city actually want? And, how do we connect the militants, researchers and local authorities who, without talking about it directly, try to achieve this essential utopia, the right to the city?

This publication is a result of all of these questions, thanks to all the authors’s contributions.

Ritimo
The organization Ritimo is in charge of Coredem and of the Passerelle Collection publica- tion. Ritimo is a network for information and documentation on international solidarity and sustainable development. In 90 locations throughout France, Ritimo opens public in- formation centers on global issues, organizes civil society campaigns and develops awa- reness-raising and training sessions. Ritimo is actively involved in the production and dissemination of plural and critical information, by means of its website: www.ritimo.org

Habitat International Coalition
The Habitat International Coalition (HIC) is the global network for rights related to habi- tat. Through solidarity, networking and support for social movements and organizations, HIC struggles for social justice, gender equality, and environmental sustainability, and works in the defense, promotion and realization of human rights related to housing and land in both rural and urban areas.

Published in English, French, and Spanish, this issue can be downloaded here below as well as on the website of Habitat International Coalition.