This international seminar proposes to tackle major urban issues in panel discussions drawing on the expertise of practitioners, elected officials and intellectuals currently grappling with the great urban questions of today
The concept of “global cities” was popularised during the 1990’s to account for the strategic role of the world’s main urban centres in articulating the effervescent neoliberal globalisation of capitalism. In the “roaring nineties”, as Joseph Stiglitz characterised the decade of apparent free-market buoyancy and optimism, a few cities emerged as the key spatial units that territorialised global processes. These cities acquired capabilities for global operation, coordination and control of the flows of capital and of a transnationalised workforce.
More than two decades down the line, the transnational space anchored in global cities has changed substantially. The urban populace has since increased by more than 25% and now encompasses the majority of the world’s population; a global crisis has swept away the mirage of continuous finance-led economic expansion and sparked a popular reaction and suspicion towards the promises of globalisation; whilst the prospects of widespread ecological catastrophe have become more real.
This scenario invites a new interrogation of the notion of global cities, particularly from the perspective of its associated modes of urban governance and regulation. The urban entrepreneurialism that has crafted “city brands” and driven inter-urban competition, attracting financial and real-estate rent-seeking activities as well as the unproblematised “talents” of the global “creative classes”, has also sparked a process of planetary gentrification and further disembedded cities from their surrounding environments.
Transformations in the “glocal” conditions embodied in global cities pose new challenges for city dwellers and public authorities. The scalar restructurings of the global governance system suggest a repositioning of cities at different levels. The claim to the “right to the city” underscores, in turn, the contested production and appropriation of urban space itself. In the interstices of these processes, new models of development in and beyond cultural and digitalisation paradigms, require careful consideration.
The dialogue between Ada Colau, Josep Ramoneda and Teresa Caldeira “Global cities and Spatial Segregation: Resistances, Alternatives” will take place on the 27th September.
David Llistar, Director of Global Justice and International Cooperation, Barcelona City Council
Pol Morillas, Director of CIDOB
Moderator: Agustí Fernández de Losada, Director of the Global Cities Programme, CIDOB
The localisation of global agendas
Emilia Saiz, General Secretary, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)
City diplomacy in the international arena
Sheila Foster, Professor of Law and Public Policy, Georgetown University, and chair of the Advisory Committee of the Global Parliament of Majors
Territorial alliances to implement global agendas
Enrique Gallicchio, Associate Researcher, Latin American Centre for Human Economics (CLAEH), Uruguay
Moderator: Eva Garcia Chueca, Cientific Coordinator of the Global Cities Programme, CIDOB
Alternative urban futures: considerations from the Global South
AbdouMaliq Simone, Professor, Max Planck Institute and the African Centre for Cities
Claiming the right to the city
Betânia Alfonsin, Professor, Fundação Escola Superior do Ministério Público do Rio Grande do Sul; Director, Brazilian Institute of Urbanistic Law (IBDU)
Curbing rents and gentrification in a global city
Katrin Schmidberger, Member of the Berlin House of Representatives and Spokesperson for Housing, Rents and Tourism
Tools and policies for achieving the right to the city in Asia
Anselmo Lee, Executive Director, Korea Human Rights Foundation
Moderator: Lorenzo Vidal, Researcher, Global Cities Programme, CIDOB
New economic development models for cities
Frances Northrop, Director for Communities and Localities, New Economics Foundation
Digital city and social change
Francesca Bria, Chief Technology and Digital Innovation Officer, Barcelona City Council
Re-municipalisations and energy transitions
Daniel Chavez, TNI fellow, Transnational Institute
The role of the informal economy
Marty Chen, Senior Advisor and former International Coordinator, WIEGO – Women in Informal Employment, Globalizing and Organizing
Agustí Fernández de Losada, Director of the Global Cities Programme, CIDOB