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The Right to the City


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Table of Contents

Introduction. The Fight for Public Space: What Has Changed?
Chapter 1. To Go Again to Hyde Park: Public Space, Rights, and Social Justice
Chapter 2. Making Dissent Safe for Democracy: Violence, Order, and the Legal Geography of Public Space
Chapter 3. From Free Speech to People's Park: Locational Conflict and the Right to
the City
Chapter 4. The End of Public Space?: People's Park, the Public, and the Right to the City
Chapter 5. The Annihilation of Space by Law: Anti-Homeless Laws and the
Shrinking Landscape of Rights
Chapter 6. No Right to the City: Anti-Homeless Campaigns, Public Space Zoning,
and the Problem of Necessity
Conclusion. The Illusion and Necessity of Order: Toward a Just City
Postscript (2014): Now What Has Changed?

About the Author

Don Mitchell, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of Geography at Syracuse University. After receiving his PhD in 1992 from Rutgers University, he taught at the University of Colorado before moving to Syracuse. He is the author, most recently, of The People's Property?: Power, Politics, and the Public, with Lynn Staeheli (2008), and They Saved the Crops: Landscape, Labor, and the Struggle for Industrial Farming in Bracero-Era California (2012). Dr. Mitchell is a recipient of MacArthur, Fulbright, and Guggenheim Fellowships. He was the founder of the People's Geography Project and serves on the advisory board of Syracuse Community Geography.


In this wide-ranging tour de force, Don Mitchell offers us a rich and geographically grounded exploration of struggles over urban public space. This is scholarship in the best sense of the word: politically engaged, theoretically informed, and powerfully argued. Urban public space emerges not only as a site of brutal and often violent control, but also as a space of liberation and hope. Mitchell shows us that public spaces--the streets and parks of the everyday--matter, and are worth fighting for.--Nicholas K. Blomley, Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada

Don Mitchell packs a wallop like the pamphleteering Marx. Polemical, stirring, and angry, this book is required reading for anyone who cares about the fate of our cities and our fragile democracy.--Andy Merrifield, Graduate School of Geography, Clark University This provocative work asserts that the right to public space is crucial to advancing the cause of justice. Complex yet comprehensible, the book balances the ideas of legal scholars, cultural theorists, and social scientists with Mitchell's singular voice based on his extensive thinking and research in the area. Mitchell thoughtfully argues that the struggle for rights actually produces public space and thus insists that rights be taken seriously, especially by leftist scholars, as they are central to counteracting exclusionary practices and the pervasive power of the state. This book is especially appropriate for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses on the city.--Sallie A. Marston, Department of Geography and Regional Development, University of Arizona

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