Let’s take a moment — to step back from the political dramas roiling away in Vancouver. Let’s instead take a peek at the Right To the City Conference in Barcelona.
Sprung from the movement The Global Platform for the Right to the City, established in São Paulo in November 2014, its purpose is to build an international movement to fight for progressive policies around housing, its financialization, and the problems this has brought to cities around the world, including Vancouver.
The main premise is that housing is a basic human right. David Madden, author of In Defense of Housing and a sociology professor at the London School of Economics, spoke at the conference on May 10 (as did Price Tags contributor Andy Yan, Vancouver’s “Duke of Data”), and has summed up the issue as such:
“Housing is never just about housing, but about ideology, power, race…it can be used as a tool to resist and transform an unequal society or to reproduce the status quo“.
Read more of Madden’s ideas in this short presentation What is Housing For?.
Which quickly brings us to Vancouver, where the struggle for leading the political charge on housing lurches between two dominant parties, a few fringes, and a mixed bag of independents…as the fall civic election draws ever closer.
Who will resist and transform, and who will represent the status quo?