30 Mar. 2016

BRICS and the City

From Hong Kong to Mumbai to Durban to Rio de Janeiro, the mega-cities of the global South are in flux. Whether it’s real estate developments around the World Cup and the Olympic Games in Rio or a massive port-petrochemical expansion in Durban, nation-states, municipalities, and private capital are pushing grand projects to reshape the urban geography. The justifications for these projects are dubious. The export-oriented growth that drove these economies for decades has sputtered and stalled with no guarantee that it will return. The benefits of these projects may turn out to be illusory, but the costs in terms of displaced communities, environmental damage, and public debt are very real.

In each of these cities, people are fighting back and demanding their “right to the city.” New alliances are coming together that have the potential not only to resist these local harms but to challenge the national and global structures that prioritize speculative investment (with private profit and public risk) over adequate housing, decent work, and a healthy environment.

This discussion will bring together Durban’s Patrick Bond and Rio’s Ana Garcia, co-authors of the new RLS–NYC study “Take the Ports!” We will talk about how Durban, Rio, and Hong Kong have been developed into strategic export hubs of the global south: How has the expansion and restructuring of these harbors changed class relations in these cities, and which kind of new alliances are emerging to contest the existing power structure?

Patrick Bond, Director of the Centre for Civil Society at University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Ana S. Garcia, Professor of International Relations at the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Wednesday, March 30, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office
275 Madison Avenue, Suite 2114 (entrance on 40th St.)
New York, NY 10016
Free and open to the public. Registration here.

Check out the brand new related study by Patrick Bond, Ana Garcia, Mariana Moreira, and Ruixui Bai: Take the Ports! Contesting Power in Global South Export Hubs.