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Cities After... Episode List: Season 3

Season 3  |  Season 2  |  Season 1   


Season 3

Season 3 of Cities After... began in January 2023.

Now also available as video podcast!


CA_S3_E7.pngFrom Exclusion to Gentrification: The NIMBY-YIMBY Politics

April 2023 (Season 03 - Episode 07)

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In this episode of Cities After…, Prof. Robles-Durán examines the histories and ideological underpinnings of the NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) and YIMBY (Yes In My Backyard) urban development movements. On the surface, these movements may seem to have opposing politics. However, by looking closely at their evolution and participation, it becomes clear that both have been co-opted and obscured by politicians and the media in order to serve the corporate elites and capitalist developers. As the story goes, the NIMBYs are staunch elitists that block progress by resisting change and innovation. The YIMBYs are promoters of growth and prosperity— they are inclusive, environmentally friendly and champions of affordability. But, as Prof. Robles-Durán explains, they do not really embody these virtues. He reveals the elitist and conservative principles that exist within both NIMBY and YIMBY ideologies, and shows why these terms should not be used in the progressive lexicon of urban action and housing activism. 


The Business of Homelessness

April 2023 (Season 03 - Episode 06)

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"Housing is a basic human need and the market tends to ignore social needs, as it prioritizes individual profit.” - Prof. Robles-Durán There is a widespread belief that the central culprit of the housing crisis in most metropolitan regions around the world today is the lack of supply. This notion has been well spread by mainstream media outlets and urban professionals, such as urban planners, architects, housing developers, and real-estate agencies. For those disseminating this idea, ending the housing crisis is straightforward: more and more housing needs to be built. In this episode of Cities After…, Prof. Robles-Durán contests this belief, explaining that this solution is built on the false notion of a stable market free of externalities and inherent contradictions. Addressing the housing crisis solely through supply and demand dogmas makes little sense in the era of real-estate financialization and mega-landlords. There is a much deeper systemic issue brewing than simply an unequal relationship between supply and demand.  


CA_S3_E5.pngThe Problems with Supply and Demand in the Housing Market

March 2023 (Season 03 - Episode 05)

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"Housing is a basic human need and the market tends to ignore social needs, as it prioritizes individual profit.” - Prof. Robles-Durán There is a widespread belief that the central culprit of the housing crisis in most metropolitan regions around the world today is the lack of supply. This notion has been well spread by mainstream media outlets and urban professionals, such as urban planners, architects, housing developers, and real-estate agencies. For those disseminating this idea, ending the housing crisis is straightforward: more and more housing needs to be built. In this episode of Cities After…, Prof. Robles-Durán contests this belief, explaining that this solution is built on the false notion of a stable market free of externalities and inherent contradictions. Addressing the housing crisis solely through supply and demand dogmas makes little sense in the era of real-estate financialization and mega-landlords. There is a much deeper systemic issue brewing than simply an unequal relationship between supply and demand.  


The Threat of Mega-Landlords

March 2023 (Season 03 - Episode 04)

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In this episode of Cities After…, Prof. Robles-Durán discusses the growing prevalence of corporate landlords and their devastating impact on affordable housing and homeownership. The mass acquisition of single-family homes and apartment buildings by private investment companies, backed by global finance and, often, as Prof. Robles-Durán reveals our own pension funds, capitalizes on our basic need for housing as a human right and turns it into a profit-making enterprise. This phenomenon grows out of the capitalist-fed dream of private homeownership, which has never been truly accessible to the masses. We need community land trusts, cooperative housing, and to put an end to the predatory commodification of housing before it’s too late. 


CA_S3_E3_V2_(1).pngUrban Activisms at the Border with Fonna Forman & Teddy Cruz

February 2023 (Season 03 - Episode 03)

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In this episode of Cities After…, Prof. Robles-Durán interviews Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman about their work with public institutions and community partners on both sides of the US/Mexico border, in San Diego and Tijuana. Tijuana, as Cruz reminds us, has always been a geography of conflict and of crisis. Cruz and Forman’s work is deliberately situated at the intersection of formal, often exclusionary, American institutions and grassroots community organizing. By building coalitions, the interplay between various groups—researchers/political scientists and migrants/community organizers becomes more collaborative and less top-down. Their goal for creating community stations is to build public space that is “not about beautification, but public space that is deliberately injected with co-curatorial programming in perpetuity.” In this conversation, Cruz, Forman, and Robles-Durán discuss changes in border politics since Trump, asylum policies and climate change, working with formal institutions and creating “cultural coyote” organizations, the challenges they face while working at the local level, and more.


Neo-Imperialism & Neo-Fascism at the Border

February 2023 (Season 03 - Episode 02)

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In this episode of Cities After…, Prof. Robles-Durán takes a closer look at the ever-growing migrant crisis along Mexico-US border cities and its critical socio-environmental implications. It is an issue of urgency, particularly given the humanitarian disaster, the heightened American security impositions, the neo-fascist retaliations from Texas and other Republican states, as well as the political ramifications at both sides of the border.


CA_S3_E1_Urbanization_Text_Inequality.pngUrbanization as the Text of Inequality

January 2023 (Season 03 - Episode 01)

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Welcome to Season 3! In this episode of Cities After…, Prof. Robles-Durán presents a personal account of his life in Tijuana, Mexico to illustrate how cities are central to understanding the ways in which capitalism materializes into our daily lives. By tracing his earliest experiences with capitalism’s complexities, Robles-Durán reveals how we can practice the reading of urbanization as the living text of inequality and invites each of us to exercise deciphering the capitalist and anti-capitalist code that is constantly being written in our cities and offering a myriad of possible futures.


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  • Maria Carnemolla-Mania
    published this page in Cities After... 2023-01-24 16:56:48 -0500

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