In July 2020, the Beirut Urban Lab held the first part of its webinar series under the theme of "Housing and Financialization in Times of Crisis." Watch videos of the webinars here.
Housing and Financialization in Times of Crisis is a webinar series 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. It 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 COVID-19 pandemic globally. It however offered us the opportunity to engage a wider audience that participated in our discussions

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

Watch Raquel Rolnik, Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Sao Paulo, as she weaves connections between the pandemic and the financialization crisis in cities globally. In this keynote talk, she addresses questions of borders, coloniality, urban planning's role in the financialization of land, the housing crisis, and opens on the possibility of producing landscapes "not for profit, but for life". Cesare Di Feliciantonio and Mona Fawaz then comment on her insights. 

Beirut, A City for Sale?

Watch the Lab's team as they present our work on the production of built environment in Beirut since 1996. Mona Fawaz, Professor of Urban Studies and Planning, as well as Soha Mneimneh, Michelle Moawad, and Abir Zaatari, all researchers at the Lab presented in this talk the general framework of the Beirut Built Environment research project, its methodology and a few preliminary findings. Marieke Krijnen, Hisham Ashkar, and Zeina el Helou commented on the project. 

Illegal by Degree: Legal Exclusion and Crisis in Mumbai’s Slum Settlements

Watch Liza Weinstein as she presents her work on the slum settlements in Mumbai, India, in the shadow of the ongoing financialization, as territories always under the threat of “re-development”. Focusing on the current moment of pandemic crisis, Weinstein argues that the differential construction of slums in relation to the legal/illegal divides impacts considerably their residents’ access to services in these times. Hiba Bou Akar and Michele Lancione comment on her talk.