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Dialogue: The Right to City for theDefense of Common Goods - Monday, 3rd September 2012

Dialogue: The Right to City for theDefense of Common Goods

Edoardo Salzano

Edoardo Salzano (Eddyburg, Italia) & Dimitri Roussopulos (Canada)

Coordinator: Yves Cabannes (DPU, Londra)

This year the USF calls for The Right to the City for the Defense of Common Goods  “in the consolidation of dialogue and alliances to reach a consensus on a platform and program for common action between urban and rural inhabitant movements and all those organizations, networks and institutions that struggle for the rights to housing, land, common goods, and to the city ” (see the manifesto).

Based on such premises, we open the Forum with a dialogue about The Right to the City and the possible alliance among the various actors in order to challenge the hegemonic development model founded on supremacy of neoliberal paradigms, which is at the root of the current crisis.

The Italian urban planner Edoardo Salzano and the ecologist and political activist Dimitri Roussopoulos will bring their reasoning and insights into the dialogue. For over forty years both have contributed to understand the city, its conflicts, contradictions and opportunities in the perspective of changing it for.

The dialogue will be coordinated by Professor Yves Cabannes, Chair of Developing Planning at University College London and former Chair of AGFE (Advisory Group on Forced Evictions) of UN-Habitat.

We will start asking to our guest about the meaning and crucial role of concepts such as the right to the city  and the commons  in the struggle to build and defend beautiful and livable cities for all inhabitants. The dialogue will continue by posing questions to Salzano and Roussopoulos formulated in advanced by organizations, institutions, radical local governments and urban movements participating in the Forum.

Between the 1st and 3rd of September during the social movements led meetings and events taking place in Naples, we will collect and organize a number of questions, which would be passed on to our guest speakers.

Edoardo Salzano

Former Professor in Urban and Regional Planning and Dean of the School of Urban, Regional and Environmental Planning at the University IUAV of Venice, he also worked as a planning consultant in many Italian local governments. He was a member of the National Board of the National Institute of Urban Planning (INU) from 1972 to 1993 and National Chairman of the same Institute from 1983 to 1990.

Salzano was founder and editor of Urbanistica informazioni, bimonthly journal of the INU, from 1972 to 1992.

Salzano was an expert member of the Council of Public Works from 1971 to 1974. He sat on the Regional Technical-Administrative Committee of the Region of Tuscany from 1972 to 1992. He was town councillor in City of Rome from 1966 to 1974. He was town councillor in City of Venice from 1975 to 1990, and councillor responsible for urban planning in the City of Venice from 1975 to 1985. He was regional councillor for the Region of Veneto from1986 to 1990.

Salzano sat on the Commission for the preservation of Venice from 1976 to 1990. He was the Chairman of the Scientific Committee for the Landscape Regional Plan of the Regione Sardegna.

Author and editor of several books, journal articles, he collaborated with newspapers and magazines, and funded two planning journals and an online journal. He is founder and director of www.eddyburg.it, an Italian website concerning urban planning, society and political issues. Sazano works, actively supports and provide technical assistance to a number of the progressive organisations and urban movements in Italy, but also participating to international forums. He is the chairman of AltroVE - Rete delle associazioni e dei comitati per un altro Veneto. Selected titles are: ‘Urbanistica e società opulenta’  (Urban Planning and the affluent society), 1969; ‘Casa,urbanistica e poteri locali’  (Housing, Urban Planning and Local Authorities), 1971; ‘Venezia  forma urbis’ (in collaboration), 1983; ‘Fondamenti di urbanistica - La storia e la norma’ , (Urban Planning Fundamentals - History and Rules), 1998; ‘Ma dove vivi? La città raccontata’  (Where do you live? ), 2008; Memorie di un urbanista. L’Italia che ho vissuto  (Memoirs of a planner. The Italy I lived), Corte del foatego, 2010.

Dialogue: The Right to City for theDefense of Common Goods

Dimitri Roussopulos

Dimitri Roussopulos

Theoretician and practitioner, Dimitri Roussopoulos is a political activist, ecologist, writer, editor, publisher, community organizer, and public speaker. Educated in philosophy, politics and economics at several Montreal universities and London. Roussopoulos has sought to keep himself free from any academic confinement, and apart from having taught for two years in the late sixties at a college, which followed the progressive education philosophy of John Dewey, he has remained institutionally independent. He founded in 1959, the Combined Universities Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament [CUCND] in Canada, having organised the first post-war student demonstration in the capital Ottawa on December 25th.

Roussopoulos founded and edited Canada’s first peace research quarterly journal in 1961, Our Generation against Nuclear War . Co-founded in 1962, the International Confederation for Disarmament and Peace [ICDP] at Oxford University which brought together for the first time all the non-aligned new nuclear disarmament movements and the pacifist organisations in some 20  countries as a counter-balance to the pro-Soviet World Peace Council. In 1969 he co-edited with the American sociologist C.George Benello, the first book on participatory democracy. ‘The Case for Participatory Democracy’  was published as a paperback by Vintage Press, New York, in 1970.

In 1969, he founded the international left-wing book publishing project, Black Rose Books which published its first book in 1970. He edited ‘The New Left in Canada ’, the first book on the subject. Since the early 1970s, Roussopoulos, has highlighted the centrality of community organisation, neighbourhoods and cities as the primary and priority terrain for social and political change. Consequently he helped found in downtown Montreal, the Milton-Park Citizens Committee, which undertook a major 11 year struggle confronting ‘urban renewal’ and in effect stopping most of the destruction of a heritage six city bloc neighbourhood and transformed the area into the largest non-profit cooperative housing project in North America. Since 2001 Roussopoulos heads the Taskforce on Municipal Democracy of the City of Montreal, working with a volunteer group of citizens and bureaucrats in collaboration with Mayor Tremblay. As such he proposed and helped draft the ‘Montreal Charter of Citizen Rights and Responsibilities’, the first right to the city charter in North America. Other selected titles are: ‘Political Ecology; beyond environmentalism ’, 1993; ‘Coming of World War Three’ , 1986; ‘Public Place – Citizen Participation in the Neighbourhood and the City’ , 1999; ‘The Rise of Cities’ , 2012.



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