Showing posts tagged with: Right to the City

Much ridiculed in the international press and surrounded by extreme mystique, Pyongyang and other cities in the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) seem to be for most, cities of aberration, of poverty, of repression and of delusional grandeur.Yet, for urban planners globally, Pyongyang is a wet dream come true. Many planners would wish to have a tenth of the decision making capacity that North Korean planners have. Pyongyang (and by extension other cities in DPRK) is unique today in that it is a city that has been completely planned with no community led organic growth, every aspect of the city has been planned for the optimal functionment of a deeply Confucian society.

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This essay explores the relationship between the needs for improved social inclusiveness within our urban environment and the impact that this may have on current place-making efforts. The ‘Right to the City’ movement, initially launched by Henry Lefebvre in 1967 and taken up by Harvey in 2003, demanded greater distribution and access to urban resources through revolutionary means. This has mutated into a greater discourse about growing inequalities in cities, the privatisation of common space and access to public spaces. Place-Making, despite its efforts in promoting inclusiveness and improved connectivity to public space can also have detrimental effects by furthering exclusion of certain disenfranchised populations.

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