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New lefebvre in writings on cities kofman and lebas

“The Right to the City”


In Lefebvre, Writings on Cities, translated by Eleonore Kofman and Elizabeth Lebas, Blackwell, Oxford, 1996, pp. 147–159.



Written just prior to the demonstrations of 1968, Lefebvre’s manifesto-essay is “a cry and a demand” for the right to the city. In a series of sketches, the essay condemns what the author sees as the alienating conditions of modern urban life, embodied by rational planning and new towns, and calls for a city that is a collective work emerging from interaction and creative acts by the diverse “groups, social classes and class fractions” that compose the city. This essay, paired with Lefebvre’s later The Production of Space, which endeavors to reconcile social, physical, and mental space, has been highly influential among architects, geographers, and political theorists writing on the negotiations of architecture, space, and social practice.

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