What Would it Take?

Mourners and survivors do not forget. Debbie Humphry ©.

Mourners & survivors call for justice Photo source:Debbie Humphry ©

By Anna Minton, CITY contributing editor & author of ‘Big Capital’
“Big Capital came out on June 1st. Two weeks later the Grenfell Tower fire propelled social housing to the top of the news agenda. As the Grenfell Action Group had written presciently on their blog, it would take a ‘catastrophic event’ to expose the scandal over how housing was run in Kensington and Chelsea. There are many parallels with the tragedy which unfolded at Grenfell and the events covered in the book, chief among them the total lack of accountability that councils and the assorted quangos and companies that now deal with housing, display towards communities…” (Read more)
Download Chapter 3 of ‘Big Capital’.

Debbie Humphry interviews Tom Slater

CITY Interview: Debbie Humphry interviews Tom Slater in response to his delivery of the 13th David M Smith Annual Lecture at Queen Mary’s University.
David M. Smith

David M. Smith

Tom Slater

Tom Slater

Recording of lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3a3-MlqF9M&feature=youtu.be


Anna Minton’s recent Guardian article on the Grenfell inquiry: ‘The Grenfell inquiry must look at the developers carving up our cities’


Coming in next month’s blog… extract from Anna Minton’s new book Big Capital: Who is London for?

CITY responds to the Grenfell Tower fire

Paul Watt. Debbie Humphry. Ross Domoney.

6.Grenfell16June17C-235m by Debbie Humphry (c).Those people in there, like the phoenix shall rise from the ashes, the truth shall come out”: voices and anlaysis, Grenfell Tower. Debbie Humphry. Thanks to Melissa Herman. Much has already been written about the shocking Grenfell Tower fire, with Facebook and Twitter in particular creating a space for the voices of local people directly affected…

Like the Phoenix Debbie Humphry

Grenfell16June17Cnet‘This place is post-something’ – London’s housing in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire. Paul Watt. Over a year ago, Anna Minton and I began our article in City on ‘London’s housing crisis and its activisms’ with this quote from China Mieville taken from his book London’s Overthrow…This Place Paul Watt

Anger and Solidarity at Grenfell Tower. A film by Ross Domoney 2017Anger and Solidarity Ross Domoney

Anger and solidarity at Grenfell tower. from Ross Domoney on Vimeo.



Latest Edition of CITY journal

with editorial by Bob Catterall Volume 20, number 6. December 2016, Pages 773-778


We are excited that this month’s blog is a summary of CITY’s two panels at this year’s AAG 2017 in Boston – click below for details…..

CITY at Boston AAG 2017

Panel Photo CITY session 2 AAG 2017. Photo by Evie Papada (c)

Panel Photo CITY session 2 AAG 2017. Photo by Evie Papada (c)

Mark Davidson CITY Panel 1 Boston AAG.Photo by Andrea Gibbons (c)

Mark Davidson CITY Panel 1 Boston AAG.Photo by Andrea Gibbons (c)


Sharon Meagher. CITY AAG Panel 1 Photo by Andrea Gibbons (c)

Sharon Meagher. CITY AAG Panel 1 Photo by Andrea Gibbons (c)

CITY presents at the AAG 2017 in Boston Thursday 6th April

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 13.27.15

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 13.27.27



10th Feb 2017 – NEW BLOG – Philipp Katsinas reviews the workshop, Staying Put, that brought activists and scholars together at the University of Rome Tre to discuss the theory and praxis of anti-gentrification in Southern Europe.


Including comment by Professor Loretta Lees and Dr. Sandra Annunziata (Department of Geography, University of Leicester).

Workshop launching 'Staying Put!: An anti-gentrification tool kit for Southern Europe.

Workshop launching ‘Staying Put!:An anti-gentrification tool kit for Southern Europe’.

Latest blog: A reflection on John Berger’s passing by Antonis Vradis Jan 8th 2017.

A reflection on John Berger’s passing by Antonis Vradis Jan 8th 2017.

CITY (2016) Vol 20, Issue 5

CITY (2016) Vol 20, Issue 5

The latest issue CITY: Vol 20, issue 5 (2016) is now online

http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/ccit20/20/5?nav=tocList …

Shorter for TWEETING http://bit.ly/2hY8PLP #city_analysis


With Bob Catterall’s latest Editorial…..


Editorial: Trumped? Some groundings

Pages 655-662 | Published online: 21 Dec 2016

‘On November 8, the most powerful country in world history, which will set its stamp on what comes next, had an election. The outcome placed total control of the government — executive, Congress, the Supreme Court — in the hands of the Republican Party, which has become the most dangerous organization in world history.’

‘Apart from the last phrase, all of this is uncontroversial. The last phrase may seem outlandish, even outrageous. But is it? The facts suggest otherwise. The Party is dedicated to racing as rapidly as possible to destruction of organized human life. There is no historical precedent for such a stand’ (Noam Chomsky, Monday, 14 November 2016).

FULL EDITORIAL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13604813.2016.1261554



CITY’s November’s blog just out:

Los Angeles, photo by Andrea Gibbons

Los Angeles, photo by Andrea Gibbons

Andrea Gibbons talks to Debbie Humphry about about race, class and segregation in the USA. They discuss Andrea’s short story, The El Rey Bar (link below), and her article Linking Race, the Value of Land and the Value of Life in CITY Issue 20(6). Andrea reflects on socio-spatial walls, and the work, alliances and resistance required in the wake of Donald Trump’s election victory. . http://www.city-analysis.net/2016/11/29/andrea-gibbons-talks-to-debbie-humphry-about-the-el-rey-bar-and-race-and-class-segregation-in-the-usa/


ExcluBrian Bowessive access to Andrea Gibbons’ short story The El Rey Bar

set in dystopic South Central Los Angeles, discussed in Bob Catterall’s Editorial: Utopia on the Edge? City, 2016, Vol 20, No. 3, 343-34

The El Rey Bar by Andrea Gibbons


From the heart-gripping anthology Send My Love and a Molotov Cocktail: Stories of Crime, Love and Rebellion, Editors Gary Phillips and Andrea Gibbons


Police in Athens, Film still from 'Future Suspended'.

Police in Athens, Film still from ‘Future Suspended’.

Future Suspended is from Crisis-scape research project examining crisis-ridden urban public spaces in Athens, Greece. www.crisis-scape.net


The film addresses the question posed by Antonis Vradis, “What may a major global financial crisis actually look like? How may it feel, what kind of shape and form may it take in the mundane and in the common, in the spaces of our everyday co-existence?” (‘Crisis-scapes suspended: Introduction’, CITY 2014, vol 18, nos 4-5, p.498). For editorial and articles relating to Future Suspended and its themes see CITY Vol. 18 nos 4-5.

Latest issue of CITY, Volume 20, Number 3, June 2016

CITY 20 (3) 2016Extract from

Editorial: Utopia on the edge?

by Bob Catterall, Editor-in-Chief

“  … [F]uture urban worlds as gritty and half-decayed places ridden by extreme time-space compression, population explosions, environmental exhaustion and terrifying advances in technology (virtual realms, cyborg beings, hyper-surveillance and the like)1

This ‘gritty’ and disturbing characterisation of future urban worlds is one that Stephen Graham puts forward at one point in the most recent of his wide-ranging studies of urban and technological futures, this one on the vertical dimension of cities.2 How else can we characterise ‘urban worlds’? Might we need to make use of speculative, utopian and fictional perspectives?

If some of the characterisations, or perhaps just some of the characteristics, are deeply and increasingly disturbing, how might we set about reforming or transforming that/those world/s? Are speculative, utopian and fictional visions largely irrelevant, dangerous or obsolete—or almost or just beyond our reach on or at the edge? What then?

We draw in this issue3 on descriptions and analyses, touching unevenly on these topics, on aspects of London, Europe, Jerusalem and Palestine, North America, Shanghai and the Gulf. We include a rural/ ‘developing’ area of Ecuador seen from a cosmic view of the planet as our ‘worlds’ begin to enter and sometimes resist, the ultimate in apocalyptic global futures, ‘black hole capitalism’.

We present this critical editorial survey through examining four sets of scenes using a mixed spatial and cultural/economic classification: first, ‘At the Centre?’ second, ‘Alpha, Aliph. Aleph: Scenes from the South-East’; and the third, ‘On the Edge?’ concluding with ‘Utopian Reciprocities: From the Edge to the Centre (and back)’.

Full editorial on Taylor & Francis website http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13604813.2016.1196061

Page 343-349 | Published online: 01 Jul 2016


Latest August 2016KenAdityaCoverPhoto by Debbie Humphry (c) _

Exclusive CITY interview with Ken Loach and Aditya Chakrabortty as they talk to Debbie Humphry about the Housing and Planning Act (2016). http://www.city-analysis.net/2016/08/15/a-disaster-for-ordinary-people-exclusive-interviews-with-ken-loach-and-aditya-chakrabortty-on-the-uk-housing-and-planning-act-2016/

Award-winning film director, Ken Loach, says “The Tory propaganda of a home-owning democracy is now no more than a fantasy. People are becoming private renters, with landlords making a profit out of them. So the sale of social housing is disastrous.“ ”

Aditya Chakrabortty, senior economics writer for the Guardian, tells us “The Act is dreamt up by people who plainly have an agenda against social housing”


Figure 2 Focus E15 stall in Stratford Broadway, November 2014 (Photo: © Paul Watt).

London’s Housing Crisis and its Activisms Conference

Saturday 23rd April 2016

University Square Stratford, 1 Salway Road,

Stratford, London E15 1NF

This one day conference launches a forthcoming CITY Special Feature on ‘London’s Housing Crisis and its Activisms’, co-edited by Paul Watt (Birkbeck) and Anna Minton (UEL)… more >>

Update: Academe or Agora? Re-situating the Urban Epistemology Debate

– On the debate that has arisen over the combined publication of Brenner and Schmid’s ‘Towards a new epistemology of the urban?’ and the response from Walker in City Issue 19: 2-3.



Free virtual special issue of CITY – Reclaim the city and the planet!

Virtual Special Issue flyer: Reversing urbanization?Free Virtual Special Issue of CITY from the CITY panel from this years Annual conference of the Royal Geographical Society, entitled ‘Reclaim the city and the planet!

Selection of articles from the journal free to download! http://bit.ly/cityvsi

See also: Editorial to the special issue Introducing and resituating a debate about ‘planetary urbanisation’


Permaculture, PhilippinesCities and the Planet

As the pace of ecological destruction and climate change accelerate globally, presenting greater and more widespread threats to humanity than ever before – we ask what kind of future lies ahead for the industrialised city? Over the last decade Adrian Atkinson’s work in CITY has looked in detail at the likely impacts of peak oil on urban space and our modern technological society, on the ‘downward passage’ and potential pathways of action for easing the coming transformation – on permaculture, transition, urban and peri-urban agriculture. We feature excerpts from a number of his papers here:

UPDATE: TED Talk with Adrian Atkinson | ‘Where is Our Civilisation Heading?’ | TEDxViennaSalon

Readjusting to reality: Urban and peri-urban agriculture to ease the downward passage
Readjusting to reality 2: Transition, (with Julie Viloria)

Contemplating the post-fossil fuel world
Cities after oil: what future is this, fast approaching?
Response to Monbiot’s “There’s enough [oil] to fry us all”: A look at what oil is left and what recovering it will mean for life on Earth

From the first 2 parts of a related series, CITY editor Bob Catterall explores the work of artist / filmmaker Patrick Keiller “The Robinson Institute” in relation to urban studies and political geography, its critique of the urbanization and possibilities for a rediscovering of nature and the commons:

Towards the great transformation: (1) Beyond ‘the urban revolution’
Towards the great transformation: (2) Nature, Marx’s ‘Old Mole’, and ‘Robinson’

Tom Bliss, 'The Urbal Fix' 2010See also on the topic of sustainable cities:

The Urbal Fix: creating truly sustainable cities, Tom Bliss
Building resilience and well-being in the Margins within the City, Rachel Unsworth (and others)


CITY Olympics special feature The London Olympics: contributors to this special feature in CITY explore London and other World Cities alongside the Olympics, as a specific yet incredibly influential transnational phenomenon; it’s corporate, military/securitised and class-conflict-dimensions.
– Editorial: ‘The Olympics, London – and Totalitarianism?’
– Interview: Games Monitor: Undermining the hype of the London Olympics, by Andrea Gibbons and Nick Wolff
Olympics 2012 security: Welcome to lockdown London, by Stephen Graham
See also: Class-ifying London: Questioning social division and space claims in the post-industrial metropolis, by Mark Davidson and Elvin Wyley.


The Occupy Wall Street movement has inspired occupations of public space by citizens in towns and cities all over the world – in response to the intensification of inhumane, neoliberal policies everywhere sacrificing 99% of people for the profits of the 1%. Following on from the hugely successful mass mobilization of the indignados in Spain, which occupied central plaza’s all over the country; and the same display of mass resistance in Syntagma Square in Greece, or Tahrir Square in Egypt, and beyond… read more >>
See also on OWS on our website:
“We are not commodities” – debating the future of occupy
WHAT SPACE TO OCCUPY IN NEW YORK: A Two-Site Solution?, by Peter Marcuse
The purpose of the occupation movement and the danger of fetishizing space, by Peter Marcuse
Open letter to: Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, et al., by Peter Marcuse

Message from the Editor

City’s success derives from its distinctive mission. What other urban studies journal is able to appeal to researchers, activists and policy makers in equal measure? City has somehow managed to build much needed bridges between these communities. It enables conversations to occur between all those committed to a socially just and ecologically sane vision of city life. If City did not exist, you’d have to invent it.” (Professor Noel Castree, Professor of Geography, University of Manchester, UK)[i] City was originally founded as a journal with the distinctive mission (see Journal) that Castree defines – to bridge the gaps between urban researchers, activists and policy-makers – but also to reach a wider audience. The latter mission was to reach out beyond these three groups on its ‘home’ planet, in terms of the language of space travel, to ‘intelligent life outside.’ Read more…