Beyond the Right to the City: territorial autogestion and the Take over the City movement in 1970s Italy

Gray, N. (2018) Beyond the Right to the City: territorial autogestion and the Take over the City movement in 1970s Italy. Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography, 50(2), pp. 319-339. (doi: 10.1111/anti.12360)

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The cry and demand for the Right to the City (RttC) risks becoming a cliché, merely signifying urban rebellion rather than proving its practical content on the ground. I explore the limits of the thesis via its fraught entanglement with private property rights and the state-form; and through Lefebvre's radical critique of the state, political economy and rights elsewhere. Rights claims, I contend, unintentionally reify the uneven power relations they aim to overcome, while routinely cauterising the hard-fought collective social force that forces social gains. As a counter to the RttC thesis, I explore the autonomous Take over the City (TotC) movements of 1970s Italy, arguing that these largely neglected eminently immanent forms of territorial community activism, brought here into dialogue with Lefebvre's conception of territorial autogestion, surpassed the RttC thesis in praxis. The experience of “Laboratory Italy” thus provides highly suggestive lessons for a contemporary politics of urban space.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gray, Mr Neil
Authors: Gray, N.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography
ISSN (Online):1467-8330
Published Online:12 October 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Author and Antipode
First Published:First published in Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography 50(2):319-339
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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