Season 2 of Cities After... began in January 2022.
May 2022 (Season 02 - Episode 08)
In this episode of Cities After…, Prof. Robles-Durán speaks with Miodrag Mitrašinović, one of the world’s foremost researchers on public space. Robles-Durán and Mitrašinović consider differing definitions of "public space," contrast Hudson Yards in Manhattan with Corona Plaza in Queens as distinct public investments with vastly different impacts on New York City’s residents, and speculate about a more equitable future in which communities can reappropriate the means of production of urban space away from oligarchs and philanthropists in order to build spaces that serve larger cultural, social, and political processes.
May 2022 (Season 02 - Episode 07)
Billionaires, or more accurately, oligarchs, exert disproportional influence and control over the world’s political power, media outlets, military discourse, human labor, and natural and urban resources, including those that we commonly regard as public. In this episode of Cities After…, Prof. Robles-Durán looks at the idea of "public space" and asks: Is there anything "public" left in our urban and territorial infrastructure? What is the meaning of "public" within an oligarchy? How did the neoliberal agenda push public resources into the hands of private stakeholders and what can we do to reclaim and reinvest in truly public spaces?
April 2022 (Season 02 - Episode 06)
In this episode of Cities After…, Prof. Robles-Durán talks with Laura Raicovich, NY-based writer and art curator, about the roles that the global oligarchy plays in art museums and cultural institutions. They discuss how cultural institutions have never been the neutral, inclusive spaces they often market themselves as. Rather, these spaces, both public or private, rely heavily on private funding by elite donors and wealthy board members. Robles-Durán and Raicovich look closely at these complexities within major art institutions, such as the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, consider the dark money that funds these spaces, and highlight some organizations that are trying to reimagine cultural spaces with equity and care at the forefront.
March 2022 (Season 02 - Episode 05)
In this episode of Cities After…, Prof. Robles-Durán discusses how the western oligarchy has been intrinsically interconnected with its Russian counterpart through massive urbanization projects around the world. Oligarch Business Districts have been developed in major cities at the command of dark money in the search for legal loopholes, fiscal gymnastics, and money laundering. By looking closely at two of these development districts, New York’s Hudson Yards and Russia's Moscow International Business District, Robles-Durán reveals how they render the invisible web of dark money visible and enable an immense service industry of lawyers, accountants, architects, creatives and financiers dedicated to supplying the wants and needs of the global neoliberal oligarchy.
February 2022 (Season 02 - Episode 04)
In this episode of Cities After..., Prof. Robles-Durán talks with Josep Bohigas, Barcelona’s Chief Urban Planner, about the international image and perspectives of the hegemony of American Suburbia in Western Europe. Bohigas traces Spain’s suburban development from the 1920s until today, highlighting the similarities and differences from American sprawl. As Robles-Duran concludes this short series on the American Suburban Divide, it is important to emphasize how its disastrous influence on social and environmental urban dynamics continues to define many landscapes around the world. Thus, it becomes even more important to collectively imagine ways out of sprawl.
February 2022 (Season 02 - Episode 03)
In this episode of Cities After..., Prof. Robles-Durán breaks down the allure for many average working millennials of moving to the suburbs. Robles-Duran looks at five key contradictions of the contemporary American Suburban Divide: politics, wellbeing, remote work, climate change and economic opportunity. Speculating on dystopian and utopian post-covid scenarios, Robles-Duran ends with a call to action for everyone to join housing movements against sprawl and in favor of metropolitan affordable housing for young generations and the planet.
January 2022 (Season 02 - Episode 02)
In this episode of Cities After..., Prof. Robles-Durán talks with Andrew Ross about his most recent book, Sunbelt Blues: The Failure of American Housing. Robles-Duran and Ross build on ideas from the previous episode by looking at the history of suburbanization in the United States and exploring how the entertainment fantasy industry has helped shape the utopian image of American Suburbia. This podcast zooms in on Central Florida, home of Walt Disney’s dreams for building perfect cities.
January 2022 (Season 02 - Episode 01)
Welcome to Season Two of Cities After...! Prof. Robles-Durán begins this season with a series of four episodes in which to make sense of the growing suburban divide in the United States by honing in on it's divisive politics, the consequential production of COVID-19 boomtowns, and the future of sprawl.
In this first episode, Prof. Robles-Duran gives a brief overview of the primitive accumulation that gave rise to American Suburbia together with its racist, patriarchal and capitalist ideologies. This will serve as a basis to further delve into the contemporary phenomenon of post-COVID sprawl and its social, political, economic and environmental consequences to the near future of American cities and their inhabitants.
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