When: March 7-8
Where: Architecture Lecture Hall, Department of Architecture and Design, American University of Beirut
This event is free and open to all

CITY DEBATES 2014
Of Property in Planning: Historical Transformations and Contemporary Practices

The global financial crisis in the sub-prime mortgage crisis and the increasing exclusion of most city-dwellers from access to affordable housing has brought to the fore the dramatic effects of the domination of the exchange value of land and housing stock, used as commodities to generate profit, over their use-value as shelters (Harvey 1973). Furthermore, the devastating powers of real estate markets over urban landscapes and their ability to trump all other processes of spatial transformation have eloquently reflected the consequences of a strictly propertied understanding of the natural and built environments. This has driven many to think both of different models of property and of tax-policies, in order to restrict speculation, provide shelter, and empower non-propertied claims over the city (Marcuse 2013, Renard 2008, Lefebvre 1972). City Debates 2014 is an attempt to put such proposals and concerns in conversation with recent debates on property in anthropology, geography, history, law, and planning. By bringing policy-oriented proposals with critical discussions, we hope to allow for a critical assessment of how these new models and proposals can work in the world around us, particularly in the Arab Middle-East.

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