Inura 2007 conference London 25 June to 1 July 2007

Massimo.A. Allamandola suburbanstudio at
Fri May 11 00:45:16 BST 2007

More updates soon ...

  Inura 2007 conference London 25 June to 1 July 2007

  Transformation, survival and emancipation in a world city:
  regeneration or business as usual?

London was one of the cradles of capitalism and - as the base of British 
government and a host of consultants and financial institutions - has 
played a leading role in the intensified renewal of the capitalist 
project in Europe and the world since the 1980s. Just now it is 
reflecting on the legacy of slavery and on the campaigns here to end the 
Atlantic slave trade 200 years ago - a trade which contributed massively 
to wealth accumulation in Britain and thus to some extent underpins 
whatever prosperity we all have now. Dealing with that legacy may help 
in dealing with racism today. The idea of emancipation from oppression 
is thus in people's thoughts.

The 17th Inura meeting will focus less on the big global processes and 
more on the experience of citizens in a city-region experiencing rapid 
economic growth distributed very unequally. The economy is partly driven 
by the continuing inflation of asset values, including the values of 
housing and urban space. Citizens are all subject to the resulting 
pressures and many of our visits and discussions in London will be to 
groups and localities fighting for survival and for decent conditions in 
the face of intensifying gentrification and continuing low salaries for 
working class people or welfare benefits which trap people in poverty or 
near-poverty. A common theme is the transfer of social housing to (or 
towards) private ownership, either individual or corporate. Tenants are 
manipulated into these schemes because government money for housing 
improvement is conditional on their consent.

A secondary or background theme - likely to be prominent at the retreat 
in Brighton - will be the contradictory story of London government which 
combines radical and emancipatory measures for transport, global warming 
and some other topics with an uncritical endorsement of real-estate 
investment disguised as 'regeneration' and 'sustainability'.

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