MAGAZINE 2: Resistance to Neoliberal Urban Transformation CALL FOR PROPOSALS AND CONTRIBUTIONS
The Reclaiming Spaces project invites proposals and contributions for its second magazine, targeted at an international audience of urbanactivists, community organizers, campaigners, urban researchers, journalists, and progressive politicians. To learn more about Reclaiming Spaces project please visit
Working Title and the Focus of the Reclaiming Spaces Magazine - Issue No 2:
Resistance to Neoliberal Urban Transformation
In the contemporary neoliberal policy context, urban transformation projects emerged as widely used policy tools to refashion urban economies and spaces. Striving for economic growth and competitive restructuring, urban and central governments undertake and/or promote projects that rewrite urban landscapes through emblematic tourism and cultural projects, mega infrastructure investments, construction of prestigious business centers, gated communities etc. In the same line, urban transformation projects are initiated for disadvantaged neighborhoods to create so called more ‘livable’, ‘mixed’ and ‘healthy’ neighborhoods.
In the policy discourses, it is assumed that urban citizens would socially and economically benefit from the direct and/or trickle down effects of these urban transformation projects -e.g. the capital inflows, increased urban wealth, improved housing conditions, and created jobs through tourism and business activities etc. However, in reality, the impacts of these projects are often the extending geography of gentrification, deepening socio-spatial inequality, increased hegemony of ‘elite-driven democracy’ in urban governance, reduction of affordable housing and displacement of the urban poor from their living environments.
These neoliberal policies and projects are widely challenged by grassroots mobilizations, which fight against displacement, socio-spatial exclusion of the poor, gentrification and further impoverishing impacts on local communities.
The second issue of Reclaiming Spaces Magazine will focus on these neoliberal urban transformation policies, projects and the rising resistance against them. Our aim with this issue is to trigger a political debate and brainstorming among social movements to develop more proactive mobilization strategies to reclaim our cities and to pose independent, alternative urban transformation agendas based on the right to the city.
We encourage contributions which focus on
1. The grassroots mobilizations that challenge these neoliberal urban transformation projects and policies through different strategies and alliances at the local, national and transnational scales.
2. ‘Why’, ‘how’ and ‘for whom’ these neoliberal urban transformation policies and projects are developed in different contexts together with their impacts on the ground.
Questions for Issue No. 2
Secondly, there lies another crucial subject at the heart of this issue of Reclaiming Spaces: how grassroots mobilizations in different contexts reclaim their rights to the city resisting forced evictions, gentrifications, brutal and symbolic violence of the state that is directed towards the urban poor and working class during these transformation processes.
The specific questions of this issue are as follows:
- What are the socio-spatial, economic and political impacts of the urban transformation policies, projects as experienced in our cities?
- What are the dynamics of grassroots mobilizations resisting these policies, projects? What are the strategies used to fight against this neoliberal urban transformation?
- What are the challenges to grassroots? What are the challenges to organizing a bottom-up alternative transformation process in the neighborhoods under the threat of forced evictions, displacements?
- How can we insert a proactive agenda for ‘just’ urban transformation processes based on the right to the city? What is the role of the academics, artists, urban professionals in pushing forward such an agenda?
- What are the regional, national, transnational alliances for grassroots mobilizations resisting forced evictions, gentrification etc. in different cities? What are the viable strategies to strengthen these alliances?
Contributions and Formats
Contributions to this issue shall be submitted at the latest 15.12.2009 to editors-transformation (at) reclaiming-spaces.org
We accept proposals for popular political and journalistic writings, such as reports, critical commentaries and statements, news, interviews, overviews, personal experiences, portraits and scholarly work. We also encourage the visual submissions for photo essays, comics, maps and etc.
Written submissions should be no longer than 15.000 characters (approximately 2000 words). Longer stories (anything above 2500 characters/350 words) may also be accepted and shall be accompanied with illustrations. To map the phenomenon, we appreciate the submissions of short essays, reports (400 to 600 words) of national and local conditions regarding the urban transformation processes and resistance against them.
We also encourage urgent calls, announcements and news.
“Reclaiming Spaces” is an attempt to publish articles in many languages. We thus accept contributions in English, Turkish, French, Spanish and German language. Other languages are also possible, but require that you help us in finding a voluntary translator. The final magazine in PDF will be published in English and Turkish. Depending on your help, issues in other languages are possible.
A different process:
-> contributions are sent in and immediately published on the website until the end of November
-> from these article, some are selected to be published in the magazine as well
Please send your abstracts, summaries or short descriptions of your contribution (including word count, the number of attached illustrations) to:
editors-transformation (at) reclaiming-spaces.org
Accepted contributions will be published under http://www.reclaiming-spaces.org/transformation. The issue will be published in PDF format and printed out later on.
Reclaiming Spaces magazine is a collective experiment. Besides the content, it is of high priority to build a network of contributing authors linked to social movements. Please feel free to ask questions about the details or get into dialogue with us.
The reclaiming spaces editing group of Issue 2
editors-transformation (at) reclaiming-spaces.org