Friday, November 15, 2019 at 12:15pm – 1:45pm
Armitage Hall, 3rd Floor Faculty Lounge
Our cities are changing. Around the world, more and more money is being invested in buildings and land. Real estate is now a $217 trillion dollar industry, worth thirty-six times the value of all the gold ever mined. It forms sixty percent of global assets, and one of the most powerful people in the world—the president of the United States—made his name as a landlord and developer. In his book Capital City, Samuel Stein shows that this explosive transformation of urban life and politics has been driven not only by the tastes of wealthy newcomers, but by the state-led process of urban planning. Planning agencies provide a unique window into the ways the state uses and is used by capital, and the means by which urban renovations are translated into rising real estate values and rising rents. Capital City explains the role of planners in the real estate state, as well as the remarkable power of planning to reclaim urban life. In this talk, Stein will summarize the main arguments in his book, and lead a discussion about the ways planners and activists alike can chart an alternative pathway forward.
Samuel Stein is a geography PhD candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center. His work focuses on the politics of urban planning, with an emphasis on housing, labor, real estate, and gentrification in New York City. His writing has been published by The Journal of Urban Affairs, International Planning Studies, New Labor Forum, Metropolitics, and many other magazines and journals. In 2019, Verso published his first book, Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State.