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The Right to the City : Social Justice and the Fight for Public Space - Don Mitchell

The Right to the City

Social Justice and the Fight for Public Space

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Published: 1st February 2003
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In the wake of terrorist attacks in 2001, efforts to secure the American city have life-or-death implications. Yet demands for heightened surveillance and security throw into sharp relief timeless questions about the nature of public space, how it is to be used and under what conditions. Blending historical and geographical analysis, this book examines the vital relationship between struggles over public space and movements for social justice in the United States. Presented are a series of linked cases that explore the judicial response to public demonstrations by early 20th-century workers, and comparable legal issues surrounding anti-abortion protests today; the Free Speech Movement and the history of People's Park in Berkeley; and the plight of homeless people facing new laws against their presence in urban streets. The central focus is on how political dissent gains meaning and momentum and is regulated and policed in the real, physical spaces of the city.

"In its broad reach and comprehensiveness, the book makes a powerful contribution to the literatures on cities, on critical social science, on legal reasoning, on public space, and on the issues of homelessness."--"H-Net Review"
"This book should be a prerequisite for academics interested in contested urban spaces. Who might best profit from this reading however, are his opponents who might be hard pressed for a defence against Mitchell's thorough and convincing arguments."--"Topia"
" ...both a scholarly and a passionate work. It explores upper-class assault on the working-class right to public places in cities, especially for the homeless who, denied that right, are denied a place to live...."The Right to the City" is a well ordered, well documented and eloquently argued work. Social activists and geographers concerned with people's rights will find it a rich source of thought and pertinent references." --"Science and Society"
., ."a major contribution to human geography and urban studies, Mitchell's "The Right to the City" is ambitious, complex, carefully researched, and thoroughly political, in the best sense of that word. It is delivered in well-crafted, accessible prose. It deserves to be widely read by activists and progressive urban scholars alike."--"Economic Geography"
"In the context of Homeland Security and the 'war on terror', "The right to the city" provides a politically impassioned, theoretically informed and geographically grounded account of precisely what is at stake in the US context....While focusing upon the USA, the central arguments of this book--how political dissent gains meaning and momentum and is regulated and policed--are ofcritical importance in every geographical context. In the post-9/11 reality of terror-ific security, surveillance, and the assault on civil liberties, activists and academics should read this book and then think about the best ways to act upon its conclusions."--"Cultural Geographies"
., ."could not be more timely...."The Right to the City" is an unapologetic and often unsettling look into the history of public policy which governs the rights of citizens to speak, demonstrate, or even simply "be" in the city....This is indeed a rich collection of essays, which are as much a social critique as a call to activism....an essential reference for geographers, students of urban studies, political theory, and critical legal theory....it is also particularly relevant to policy-makers and activists whose practice gives shape to the politics of the street....although Mitchell chiefly focuses on general legal rights to public space, his reading of key case studies is pertinent to the study of gender, in which access to the public sphere and public space (as well as protection within it) remains of central importance."--"Gender, Place and Culture"
"Mitchell's impassioned plea for a more just socio-spatial regime resonates long after one reads this provacative text."--"Ethics, Place and Environment"
"This is an outstanding book. Even if one disagrees with Mitchell's politics, his analysis is compelling. It takes a supple mind to manage the intricacies of public space, law, and democracy and a serious and thoughtful scholar to produce such an impressive book."--"Annals of the Association of American Geographers"
., ."one of the strengths of the book lies in Mitchell's ability expertly tounpack how social struggles over public space can lead to transformations in the law, and how those changes can impact the legalities surrounding the future uses of urban space in a completely different context."--"Contemporary Sociology"
"Well organized, clearly written, and providing an extensive bibliography, this is an excellent resource for students and researchers in geography, urban planning, and environmental sociology. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above."--"Choice"
., ."Mitchell's book is significant for the fact that it raises important questions about the meaning and spatiality of publicness. "The Right to the City" eschews nostalgia for a focus on the struggle to take public space and, unlike a good deal of literature in this area, it makes explicit its case for the importance of public space to a democratic urban order."--"Urban Studies"

"Makes an original contribution to an expanding literature on contested access to urban public space by employing the concept of locational conflict."--"Labour/Le Travail"
"In its broad reach and comprehensiveness, the book makes a powerful contribution to the literatures on cities, on critical social science, on legal reasoning, on public space, and on the issues of homelessness."--"H-Net Review"
"This book should be a prerequisite for academics interested in contested urban spaces. Who might best profit from this reading however, are his opponents who might be hard pressed for a defence against Mitchell's thorough and convincing arguments."--"Topia"
.,."both a scholarly and a passionate work. It explores upper-class assault on the working-class right to public places in cities, especially for the homeless who, denied that right, are denied a place to live...."The Right to the City" is a well ordered, well documented and eloquently argued work. Social activists and geographers concerned with people's rights will find it a rich source of thought and pertinent references."--"Science and Society"
.,."a major contribution to human geography and urban studies, Mitchell's "The Right to the City" is ambitious, complex, carefully researched, and thoroughly political, in the best sense of that word. It is delivered in well-crafted, accessible prose. It deserves to be widely read by activists and progressive urban scholars alike."--"Economic Geography"
"In the context of Homeland Security and the 'war on terror', "The right to the city" provides a politically impassioned, theoretically informed and geographically grounded account of precisely what is at stake in the UScontext....While focusing upon the USA, the central arguments of this book--how political dissent gains meaning and momentum and is regulated and policed--are of critical importance in every geographical context. In the post-9/11 reality of terror-ific security, surveillance, and the assault on civil liberties, activists and academics should read this book and then think about the best ways to act upon its conclusions."--"Cultural Geographies"
.,."could not be more timely...."The Right to the City" is an unapologetic and often unsettling look into the history of public policy which governs the rights of citizens to speak, demonstrate, or even simply "be" in the city....This is indeed a rich collection of essays, which are as much a social critique as a call to activism....an essential reference for geographers, students of urban studies, political theory, and critical legal theory....it is also particularly relevant to policy-makers and activists whose practice gives shape to the politics of the street....although Mitchell chiefly focuses on general legal rights to public space, his reading of key case studies is pertinent to the study of gender, in which access to the public sphere and public space (as well as protection within it) remains of central importance."--"Gender, Place and Culture"
"Mitchell's impassioned plea for a more just socio-spatial regime resonates long after one reads this provacative text."--"Ethics, Place and Environment"
"This is an outstanding book. Even if one disagrees with Mitchell's politics, his analysis is compelling. It takes a supple mind to manage the intricacies of public space, law, and democracy and a serious and thoughtful scholar toproduce such an impressive book."--"Annals of the Association of American Geographers"
.,."one of the strengths of the book lies in Mitchell's ability expertly to unpack how social struggles over public space can lead to transformations in the law, and how those changes can impact the legalities surrounding the future uses of urban space in a completely different context."--"Contemporary Sociology"
"Well organized, clearly written, and providing an extensive bibliography, this is an excellent resource for students and researchers in geography, urban planning, and environmental sociology. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above."--"Choice"
.,."Mitchell's book is significant for the fact that it raises important questions about the meaning and spatiality of publicness. "The Right to the City" eschews nostalgia for a focus on the struggle to take public space and, unlike a good deal of literature in this area, it makes explicit its case for the importance of public space to a democratic urban order."--"Urban Studies"

"In this wide-ranging tour de force, Don Mitchell offers us a rich and geographically grounded exploration of struggles over urban public space. This is scholarship in the best sense of the word: politically engaged, theoretically informed, and powerfully argued. Urban public space emerges not only as a site of brutal and often violent control, but also as a space of liberation and hope. Mitchell shows us that public spaces--the streets and parks of the everyday--matter, and are worth fighting for."--Nicholas K. Blomley, Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada

"Don Mitchell packs a wallop like the pamphleteering Marx. Polemical, stirring, and angry, this book is required reading for anyone who cares about the fate of our cities and our fragile democracy."--Andy Merrifield, Graduate School of Geography, Clark University

"This provocative work asserts that the right to public space is crucial to advancing the cause of justice. Complex yet comprehensible, the book balances the ideas of legal scholars, cultural theorists, and social scientists with Mitchell's singular voice based on his extensive thinking and research in the area. Mitchell thoughtfully argues that the struggle for rights actually produces public space and thus insists that rights be taken seriously, especially by leftist scholars, as they are central to counteracting exclusionary practices and the pervasive power of the state. This book is especially appropriate for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses on the city."--Sallie A. Marston, Department of Geography and Regional Development, University of Arizona

Introduction: The Fight for Public Space: What Has Changed?p. 1
To Go Again to Hyde Park: Public Space, Rights, and Social Justicep. 13
Public Space and the Right to the Cityp. 17
Making Dissent Safe for Democracy: Violence, Order, and the Legal Geography of Public Spacep. 42
Bubble Laws, Abortion Rights, and the Legal Content of Public Spacep. 43
Regulating Public Spacep. 47
Violence, Order, and the Contradictions of Public Spacep. 51
Disorder, Violence, and the Legal Construction of Public Space before World War Ip. 54
Making Dissent Safe for Democracyp. 58
Regulating Public Forumsp. 71
Conclusionp. 74
From Free Speech to People's Park: Locational Conflict and the Right to the Cityp. 81
Nonconformists, Anarchists, and Communists: Free Speech in Berkeleyp. 83
From Free Speech to Counterculture: Urban Renewal and the Battle for People's Parkp. 105
The End of Public Space?: People's Park, the Public, and the Right to the Cityp. 118
Struggling over Public Space: The Volleyball Riotsp. 118
The Dialectic of Public Spacep. 128
The Importance of Public Space in Democratic Societiesp. 130
The Position of the Homeless in Public Space and as Part of the Publicp. 134
Public Space in the Contemporary Cityp. 137
The End of Public Space?p. 142
The Necessity of Material Public Spacesp. 147
Conclusion: The End of People's Park as a Public Space?p. 151
Codap. 152
The Annihilation of Space by Law: Anti-Homeless Laws and the Shrinking Landscape of Rightsp. 161
The Annihilating Economyp. 163
The Annihilation of People by Lawp. 167
The Problem of Regulationp. 173
Citizenship in the Spaces of the City: A Brutal Public Spherep. 181
Landscape or Public Space?p. 184
Conclusionp. 190
No Right to the City: Anti-Homeless Campaigns, Public Space Zoning, and the Problem of Necessityp. 195
"Broken Windows"p. 199
Santa Ana's Anti-Camping Ordinance and the Problem of Necessityp. 204
Anti-Homeless Campaigns and the Content of Contemporary Urban Justicep. 209
Public Space Zoningp. 211
Conclusionp. 219
Conclusion: The Illusion and Necessity of Order: Toward a Just Cityp. 227
Spaces of Justicep. 230
Referencesp. 239
Indexp. 263
About the Authorp. 270
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781572308473
ISBN-10: 1572308478
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 270
Published: 1st February 2003
Publisher: Guilford Publications
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.41