Raquel Rolnik: Dystopias and Utopias Amidst the Crisis: Is a New Urban Model Underway?

Raquel Rolnik: Dystopias and Utopias Amidst the Crisis: Is a New Urban Model Underway?

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 @6pm Beirut (GMT +3)
Register here!

Dystopias and Utopias Amidst the Crisis: Is a New Urban Model Underway?
Raquel Rolnik, Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Sao Paulo

Discussants: Cesare Di Feliciantonio, Lecturer in Human Geography, Manchester Metropolitan University
Mona Fawaz, Professor of Urban Studies and Planning, American University of Beirut

Session Chair: Howayda Al Harithy, Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, American University of Beirut

This webinar is the first of a series titled Housing and Financialization in Times of Crisis, that presents public interventions by scholars and activists researching the impacts of the compounded effects of financialization and overlapping crises on the right to housing at the local, national, and global levels.

The webinar series is an adaptation of AUB’s City Debates 2020 conference into an online lecture and discussion series. The shift online was originally triggered by the impossibility of travel and in-person meetings imposed by the COVID19 pandemic globally. It however offers us the opportunity to engage a wider audience that we hope will participate in our discussions. The series will run as of July 2020 and into Fall 2020. We are grateful to colleagues, particularly the guests of City Debates 2020 for the generosity and flexibility they have demonstrated in accommodating this new format.

Follow the Lab on Twitter @BeirutUrbanLab or City Debates on other social media for announcements of upcoming sessions. 


Raquel Rolnik is a professor at the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning of the University of São Paulo. Architect and urban planner, with over 35 years of scholarship, activism and practical experience in planning, urban land policy and housing issues, in her career, she has held various government positions including Director of the Planning Department of the city of São Paulo (1989-1992) and National Secretary for Urban Programs of the Brazilian Ministry of Cities (2003-2007) as well as NGO and consultancy at national and international levels. From 2008 to 2014 Raquel Rolnik was UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing. She is the author of several books and articles on financialization of housing and urban policies, including “Urban warfare: housing in the age of finance” by VERSO.

Cesare Di Feliciantonio holds a double Ph.D. in Geography from Sapienza-University of Rome and KU Leuven. He is a lecturer in Human Geography (Manchester Metropolitan University) and is currently the recipient of a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowship (host by the University of Leicester). In 2017 he was awarded the Prize of the Global Network on Financial Geography (FINGEO) for the best Ph.D. thesis defended in 2016. In 2018 he was awarded the Gabriele Zanetto prize from the Association of Italian Geographers for best early career geographer. He is a co-editor of ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies. His work has been published on, among others, Antipode; Cities; Environment & Planning C; European Urban and Regional Studies; Geoforum; Housing Policy Debate; Housing, Theory & Society; International Journal of Urban and Regional Research; Urban Geography.

Mona Fawaz is Professor in Urban Studies and Planning and the Coordinator of the graduate programs in Urban Planning, Policy and Design at the American University of Beirut. She is also the co-director of the Beirut Urban Lab, a recently established research center that engages policymakers, activists, and researchers in Lebanon and the region on questions of urban inclusion and post-conflict recovery. Fawaz also leads the urban track at the Issam Fares Institute of Public Policy at AUB (the Social Justice and the City program) and is a fellow affiliated to the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies. She was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Studies at Harvard University during the 2014/15 academic year.