WHO SAVED THE CITY? Exploring urban activisms in times of austerity in America and Europe and Beyond

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


This seminar series looked at how the 2008 economic crisis and austerity measures are transforming the politics of cities and urban life. In particular participants discussed how austerity might be experienced as a contradictory process of creating new opportunities for activists to construct more socially just cities as well as austerity creating conditions for further capital accumulation, gentrification and profit. How might alternative, bottom-up activities unwittingly contribute to the emergence of the neoliberal city and what might alternative urban politics look like that seek to address complex inequalities in urban spaces? Are stories of resilience merely a ‘coping’ mechanism for inequality, formulating a legitimation for suffering, or do they narrate lived experiences of resistance? I was invited to discuss my current research in Athens on the formation of a solidarity networks for/with refugees and look at new possibilities of active citizenship.
Period6 Jun 2016
Event typeConference
LocationEdinburgh, United Kingdom


  • urban activism
  • co-optation
  • Austerity
  • the commons