You are on page 1of 1

The Right to the City.

D. Harvey.

Author: Matías O.

In his essay, D. Harvey reflects on the right to the city. He indicates that is not a right to what already
exists, but also a right to live and transform it. However, historically it is evident that the city has
been constantly in dispute, transforming itself into an ideological conflict for its right, even passing
on the rights of others. In this way, trough different questions Harvey tries to make a reflection about
the right to the city and asks how we can proceed to make a city more inclusive.

According to Marx and Park, the relationship between the city and people is dialectical, since by
transforming the city we transform ourselves and vice versa. Therefore, the city is a collective act that
is constructed through our daily actions, political, intellectual and economic commitments. However,
the chaotic forms of urbanization have been destroyed our ability to reflect on the worth of the city.
This phenomenon has left us in a world that we do not recognize. Therebefore, it`s important to
reappropriate the collective places to make these places of transformation. The author points out that
demand for the right to the city is urgent, highlighting rights such a mobilization, social justice an
effective citizen participation, among others.

Furthermore, Harvey says that the city has historically been in dispute. Where the acts of violence
have been the main actions for the domain of the city, for instance Belfast, Beruit, Sarajevo, and
Bombay, among many other places, the city has become a historical site of creative destruction, the
dispute about the right to the city has always been an ideological conflict, where hegemonic
discourses have been imposed through force for its controls. Thus, the essay raises to the following
question: Is it possible to build a socially fair city?

Moreover, Harvey reflects on the concept of social justice, noting that justice is what the ruling class
wants it to be. Social justice has been broken by the liberal model and later the neoliberal model.
These models have only accentuated injustice through the idea of the right freedom, private property
and the free market. The capitalist model has been established as a devastating ideology for the right
of human, bringing with it negative and even deadly consequences. This model has destroyed our
cities with their speculations, segregation, fragmention, and accentuation of the differences between
ones and the others.

Finally, the capitalism ideology has transmuted the values of justice and freedom with the purpose of
preserving private property. The right to the city is now a right to gets a part of it according to my
personal interest, causing it to be a lees inclusive city. These acts have destroyed the collective
capacity to transform it. Therefore, it also necessary to define new right, such as right to transform
the city and make it different, that is, the ability to made and re make our world, the city.