42 episodes

CITIES AFTER... is a bi-monthly podcast by Miguel Robles-Duran about the future of cities; grounded in our daily urban struggles, it is part dystopian and part utopian. The intention is to entice civic imagination into action, because a more just and sustainable urban future is possible.

Cities After..‪.‬ Democracy at Work - Miguel Robles-Duran

    • News
    • 5.0 • 22 Ratings

CITIES AFTER... is a bi-monthly podcast by Miguel Robles-Duran about the future of cities; grounded in our daily urban struggles, it is part dystopian and part utopian. The intention is to entice civic imagination into action, because a more just and sustainable urban future is possible.

    An Important Update from Miguel Robles-Duran

    An Important Update from Miguel Robles-Duran

    Please keep an eye out for more episodes from Cities After... host Miguel Robles-Duran at an exciting new media organization: Politics in Motion! You can learn more at www.politicsinmotion.org
    Cities After... will no longer be produced by Democracy at Work. If you want to continue receiving episodes and analysis from Miguel Robles-Duran, please go to www.politicsinmotion.org. We thank Prof. Robles-Duran for the deep insights and thoughtful interviews he's shared with us over the years.

    • 2 min
    From Exclusion to Gentrification: The NIMBY-YIMBY Politics

    From Exclusion to Gentrification: The NIMBY-YIMBY Politics

    In this episode of Cities After…, Prof. Robles-Durán examines the histories and ideological underpinnings of the NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) and YIMBY (Yes In My Backyard) urban development movements. On the surface, these movements may seem to have opposing politics. However, by looking closely at their evolution and participation, it becomes clear that both have been co-opted and obscured by politicians and the media in order to serve the corporate elites and capitalist developers. As the story goes, the NIMBYs are staunch elitists that block progress by resisting change and innovation. The YIMBYs are promoters of growth and prosperity— they are inclusive, environmentally friendly and champions of affordability. But, as Prof. Robles-Durán explains, they do not really embody these virtues. He reveals the elitist and conservative principles that exist within both NIMBY and YIMBY ideologies, and shows why these terms should not be used in the progressive lexicon of urban action and housing activism. 
    References:
    https://fortune.com/2023/02/28/housing-crisis-nimbys-build-nothing-country-elon-musk-noah-smith-american-decline/ Cities After... is a Democracy at Work production, made possible by audience donations. Consider supporting us on Patreon. 

    • 31 min
    The Business of Homelessness

    The Business of Homelessness

    The number of people experiencing homelessness has been dramatically increasing across the globe. This crisis has been exacerbated in the last decade by uncontrolled predatory real-estate speculation, the pernicious privatization of social or public housing stock, record levels of inequality, a miserable supply of affordable homes, and the erosion or absence of legal and economic instruments to support social spending in elemental human needs. Neoliberal capitalism is at the heart of this issue. 
    This is the first of a Cities After… series in which Prof. Robles-Durán will address the global homeless crisis from a number of angles. In this episode, Robles-Durán focuses on the systemic failure of governments, private-public partnerships and non-profit organizations in eradicating homelessness. This trifecta has spawned the contemporary extractive homeless industry that for decades has been profiting from the creation and preservation of this particular social misfortune.
    Cities After... is a Democracy at Work production, made possible by audience donations. Consider supporting us on Patreon. 

    • 29 min
    The Problems with Supply and Demand in the Housing Market

    The Problems with Supply and Demand in the Housing Market

    "Housing is a basic human need and the market tends to ignore social needs, as it prioritizes individual profit.” - Prof. Robles-Durán
    There is a widespread belief that the central culprit of the housing crisis in most metropolitan regions around the world today is the lack of supply. This notion has been well spread by mainstream media outlets and urban professionals, such as urban planners, architects, housing developers, and real-estate agencies. For those disseminating this idea, ending the housing crisis is straightforward: more and more housing needs to be built. In this episode of Cities After…, Prof. Robles-Durán contests this belief, explaining that this solution is built on the false notion of a stable market free of externalities and inherent contradictions. Addressing the housing crisis solely through supply and demand dogmas makes little sense in the era of real-estate financialization and mega-landlords. There is a much deeper systemic issue brewing than simply an unequal relationship between supply and demand. 
    Cities After... is a Democracy at Work production, made possible by audience donations. Consider supporting us on Patreon. 

    • 25 min
    The Threat of Mega-Landlords

    The Threat of Mega-Landlords

    In this episode of Cities After…, Prof. Robles-Durán discusses the growing prevalence of corporate landlords and their devastating impact on affordable housing and homeownership. The mass acquisition of single-family homes and apartment buildings by private investment companies, backed by global finance and, often, as Prof. Robles-Durán reveals our own pension funds, capitalizes on our basic need for housing as a human right and turns it into a profit-making enterprise. This phenomenon grows out of the capitalist-fed dream of private homeownership, which has never been truly accessible to the masses. We need community land trusts, cooperative housing, and to put an end to the predatory commodification of housing before it’s too late. 

    • 30 min
    Urban Activisms at the Border with Fonna Forman & Teddy Cruz

    Urban Activisms at the Border with Fonna Forman & Teddy Cruz

    In this episode of Cities After…, Prof. Robles-Durán interviews Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman about their work with public institutions and community partners on both sides of the US/Mexico border, in San Diego and Tijuana. Tijuana, as Cruz reminds us, has always been a geography of conflict and of crisis. Cruz and Forman’s work is deliberately situated at the intersection of formal, often exclusionary, American institutions and grassroots community organizing. By building coalitions, the interplay between various groups—researchers/political scientists and migrants/community organizers becomes more collaborative and less top-down. Their goal for creating community stations is to build public space that is “not about beautification, but public space that is deliberately injected with co-curatorial programming in perpetuity.” In this conversation, Cruz, Forman, and Robles-Durán discuss changes in border politics since Trump, asylum policies and climate change, working with formal institutions and creating “cultural coyote” organizations, the challenges they face while working at the local level, and more.
    About our guests: Teddy Cruz (MDes Harvard University) is a Professor of Public Culture and Urbanization in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego. He is known internationally for his urban research of the Tijuana/San Diego border, advancing border neighborhoods as sites of cultural production from which to rethink urban policy, affordable housing, and public space. 
    Fonna Forman (PhD University of Chicago) is a Professor of Political Theory at the University of California, San Diego and Founding Director of the UCSD Center on Global Justice. Her work focuses on climate justice, borders and migration, and participatory urbanization. She serves as Co-Chair of the University of California’s Global Climate Leadership Council.
    Together they are principals in Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman, a research-based political and architectural practice in San Diego investigating borders, informal urbanization, climate resilience, civic infrastructure and public culture. They lead a variety of urban research agendas and civic/public interventions in the San Diego-Tijuana border region and beyond. Their work has been exhibited widely in prestigious cultural venues across the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; Das Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; M+ Hong Kong, and representing the United States in the 2018 Venice Architectural Biennale. They have two new monographs: Spatializing Justice: Building Blocks and Socializing Architecture: Top-Down / Bottom-Up (MIT Press and Hatje Cantz) and one forthcoming: Unwalling Citizenship (Verso).

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
22 Ratings

22 Ratings

ALB_60 ,

Mega Landlords

Outstanding podcast and thank you for giving much needed attention to our housing crisis. That this is not a front burner issue with mainstream media says a lot about where their interests lie.

1357904 ,

Required listening

Wish this were required listening for all city councils and planning offices in the … world!

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