Housing and Financialization in Times of Crisis- Fall 2020 Webinar

In the Fall of 2020, the Beirut Urban Lab is holding the second 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.

Large Scale Urban Projects

Watch Koenraad Bogaert and Martin J. Murray as they present their work on large scale urban projects in two different contexts. Bogaert begins to present his work on mega-projects located in several cities in Morocco, showing how decision-making power is being shifted from conventional state institutions to new ones, erasing the aspect of accountability and introducing new authoritarian practices.

In a similar approach, Murray presents his work on the Waterfall City project, a privatized corporate project in Johannesburg (South Africa) that engages in profit-making activities and functions as a pseudo-state agency with the administrative powers of a municipality. He raises important questions on the vanishing role of public authority and the making of new corporate cities that bears little relation to conventional practices of city building.

Leïla Vignal commented on both talks with intellectually stimulating questions and valuable insights.