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Anti-Gentrificaiton Housing Struggles in Los Angeles and Berlin

 Kotti & Co public gathering at the gecekondu. Kreuzberg, Berlin. August 2016.

Kotti & Co public gathering at the gecekondu. Kreuzberg, Berlin. August 2016.

Anti-Gentrificaiton Housing Struggles in Los Angeles and Berlin

Kenton Card, AICGS/DAAD Research Fellow & PhD Student at UCLA

Communities around the world are mobilizing urban social movements against rising inequality and economic hardship, in order to transform local neighborhoods, urban planning practices, and city policies. Minority and immigrant communities and their mobilizations play a pivotal role challenging the ongoing nationalist political shifts right in the United States and Germany, which have been propagating xenophobia, racism, and economic, political, and social isolationism. In this historic configuration, housing serves as a central site of struggle, as a fundamental human right.

This research analyzes various housing struggles across the two cities through assembled field observations, interviews, documentary film, and personal participation. Urban political economy must integrate the history, thought, and resistance of the most dispossessed. Herein multi-ethnic housing mobilizations in Los Angeles and Berlin — both majority-renter Western cities — operate in defense and offense of housing. Communities mobilize in defense of the current low-income housing stock and on the offensive to increase the low-income housing supply. Struggles transcend the preconception that either pure market dynamics or state redistribution can solve the housing question in perpetuity. These housing movements also propose collective property arrangements as innovations to enhance local democratic accountability through limited-equity cooperatives, community land trusts, and syndicates.

About Kenton Card

Kenton Card is currently a DAAD/AICGS Research Fellow at AICGS and a PhD Student in the Department of Urban Planning at the University of California, Los Angeles. At UCLA he is also an advisor to the Institute on Inequality and Democracy and an Editor of Critical Planning Journal. Kenton has taught at UCLA, Marlboro College, and The Public School, Berlin. His broad intellectual interests include urban political economy, housing movements, displacement, and race. Kenton's non-academic professional work includes advocating on behalf of environmental and housing interests in Sacramento, CA, with The Planning and Conservation League and Housing California, and ongoing work as an organizer with the Residents United Network and member of the Los Angeles Tenants Union.

This event supported by German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

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