chapter  2
12 Pages

The right to the Just City

ByDavid Harvey with Cuz Potter

Susan Fainstein’s conception of the Just City is at heart an attempt to philosophically define a harmonious and just urban form. While identifying and defining the city of one’s heart’s desire constitutes a vital moment in working towards a better future, it can only be useful to the extent that it grounds itself within the concrete, contemporary social context and engages in the effort to reshape it. This context is a three-decade long restoration of élite class power through the roll out of neoliberal policies based on a discourse of individual rights and freedoms. Counteracting this consolidation of class power requires struggle to redefine rights and freedoms and reconfigure the social processes upon which they rest. Urban transformation plays a central role in this struggle, and thus we fight for the right to a Just City.