E. Chapter 5 Neoliberal Urban Restructuring




The shift from a Fordist to neoliberal economic logic in the last 30-40 years in a majority of the Western countries of the world has meant there have been significant shifts in how urbanization in the cities has developed. These shifts have brought about changes in the forms of politics and governance in which the city forwards capital accumulation strategies. In other words, neoliberalizing the city also has involved neoliberalizing the citizen. To move forward, neoliberal urban restructuring has meant changes in the ways in which city governments have had to convince and legitimize as well as control city populations. This has involved the production of particular forms of subjectivities, or the possible (and preferable) ways in which citizens think and act upon themselves and the cityspaces they live in. Residents of the city are faced with new versions of the city in terms of built environment (new 5 star hotels, vacant cement open spaces, business parks, and the lack of community space), but as important new versions of how they can/should be, act, think; and as ‘free’ subjects are chose to make the city they live in. They are inducted into the reasoning and logic behind why neoliberal cities and the changes are better for them and their future. This induction is not a matter of a centralized body disseminating propaganda which convinces its citizenry to go along with these new norms of life; it’s a logic which becomes ‘normal’ through multitudes of social levels and identifications from the microcosmic exchanges of everyday life to versions of lifestyle in the media, laws that are passed as well as the international agreements made at the global level. Neoliberal forms of governance are produced in part through types of urban political discourses which create certain kinds of subjectivities, legitimizations, and forms of political access and regulation, both in official and unofficial types of relations. Examining these discourses critically as productive in terms of space, time and place can make visible their particular ideological and political workings. In this section we work to outline what some of the characteristics of ‘neoliberalizing space’ are. We focus on what neoliberal urban restructuring means in terms of the norms of cityspace and city behaviour it promotes and works to ‘normalize’. Rejection, outright refusal or non compliance to these norms creates problems for the neoliberal project. Our interest is in how the ‘norms’ are structured and debated as they relate to issues of governance and resistance.

Vignette: ‘Free markets’ and sleepless nights

As a person who likes to sleep and doesn’t sleep well with pounding music or parties happening next door I am always amazed at the tolerance of citydwellers. When I see older residents who have lived in their apartments for generations living next door to tourist apartments where foreigners come during the week and weekdays to rest, drink, play music at all hours with what appears to be almost a righteousness at times attitude in terms of their behaviour, I can’t help but wonder how have we created these kind of ‘norms’ that make these full grown adults feel like they have to accept these conditions of their lives?’ Why do these residents tolerate it and how is that they feel powerless to change a condition which at times makes it impossible for them to sleep at night? In this case, cityspace and social relations are dominated by the interests of private capital accumulation. The lack of any type of governmental intervention signals a type of ‘free market’, which is a context which is organized, regulated, and dictated by the interests of property owners profit strategies. The property owners don’t live next to the foreign vacationers; if they are doing well in terms of their businesses they live in the spacious and quiet areas of the city where the norms are different, they don’t have to worry about sleeping at night. Class divisions are part and parcel of ‘free market’ cities, so the more money you have the ‘freer’ you are to create a reasonable or extravagant quality of life. If the neighbours perhaps felt different about their power to control their environments they could change this situation through collective action. But you feel the lack of collective strength as individual profiteers increasingly organize cityspaces. The city website trying to convince the residents that it is their city and they will decide what it will become reads like an advertisement for Disneyworld in war zone, two different realities and in terms of the neoliberalization of cityspace the war continues while only certain classes are off buying tickets to Disneyworld, France.

The study of Western urban political discourses necessitate a summary of what particular geo-political conditions and economic conditions are occurring in the particular urban environments in which these discourses appear. Our theorization of power relations as being produced by discourses used throughout the complexities of social relations including the minute interchanges of social interactions as well as in the social interchanges that impact larger forces requires an accounting for and reflection on the intersections of social levels and power relations occurring in any given context. We also need to consider a weighting and differentiation of forces to reflect on what forces, logics, and relations these discourses are producing and in what form they are being produced. In attempts to consider the complexities of neoliberal urban Western politics we are forced also to attempt to theorize at the least what have often become physically distant, at times inaccessible and obscure systems of transnational and local economic relations affecting the manner in which the urban environment is being reorganized and restructured in Western Europe.

Trends in the critical history of neoliberalism, ‘globalization’, and colonial/capitalism

Neoliberalism has been sighted by critical geographers as having gone through an initial phase in the 70´s and 80´s under the leadership of Thatcher and Reagen and then a new phase in the 1990´s in which it became much more interventionist in the sense that in contrast to the early model of reducing government restrictions on trade, the new form is much more directly involved in restructuring and controlling various forms of relations and particularly directions for the development. Thus, neoliberalism initially sought (from the 1970´s to the 1990´s) a type of ´roll back´ of the role of the state as a provider of welfare or manager of accumulation process and in its more recent form has incorporated new measures to ´roll forward´ in more aggressive restructuring of particularly urban environments ´new forms of governance that are purportedly more suited to a market-driven globalizing economy´ (Jessop, 2002). These new forms of interventionist agendas are concerned with both restructuring the urban environment and its systems of ownership, but due to a variety of factors also require increasing methods of social control such as crime, immigration, policing, welfare reform, and urban order and surveillance, and community regeneration.

In contrast to a unified logic or principles, authors define neoliberalism rather as process in which occur “catalysts and expressions of an ongoing creative destruction of political-economic space at multiple geographical scales” (Brenner and Theodore, 2002; pp.2) So these neoliberal policies have become integrated into urban planning policy with such familiar strategies as “deregulation, privatization, liberalization, and enhanced fiscal austerity” (2002; pp. 21). This integration of neoliberal principles into urban policy structure obscures the roles and options for urban political development. In a simplified form, Brenner and Theodore summarize that “the overarching goal of such neoliberal policy experiments is to mobilize city space as an area both for market-oriented economic growth and for elite consumption practices” (Brenner and Theordore, 2002; pg.21).

As a foundation for our theoretical and ideological position in relation to the impact of neoliberalism on urban geographies we draw heavily on the work of a number of researchers who have attempted to identify and locate the organizing logics of neoliberalism within what they have termed “actually existing neoliberalism”, in other words the forms of urban relations and development in which neoliberalist principles and practices are actualized into existing urban restructuring projects and relations (Brenner and Theodore, 2002; Peck and Tickell, 2001; Swyngedouw, Moulaert and Rodriguez, 2001; Jessop, 2001). Brenner and Theodore (2002) suggest that ´an adequate understanding of contemporary neoliberalization processes requires not only a grasp of their politico-ideological foundations but also, just as importantly, a systematic inquiry into their multifarious institutional forms, their developmental tendencies, their diverse socio-political effects, and their multiple dimensional contradictions´(Brenner and Theordore, 2002; pg,6). As a starting point to mark what areas and policies are consider part of the process of neoliberalizing city space we borrow from an outline of a series of what Brenner and Theodore refer to as “mechanisms of neoliberal localization” in which they identify how neoliberal principles are restructuring local political and social systems and agendas (see Appendix II).

Negative impacts of urban neoliberalism The report says that "the fruits of globalization", which include economic growth, rising incomes and improvements in the quality of life, were rapidly being offset by the negative aspects of rapid urbanization: increased poverty and greater inequality. The last two decades have witnessed a transformation of the global economy that has led to vast economic, social and political realignments in many countries and cities. The trend towards open markets has enriched some countries and cities tremendously, while others have suffered greatly. World trade in this period has grown from about $580 billion in 1980 to a projected $6.3 trillion in 2004, an elevenfold increase, the report says. Flows of capital, labour, technology and information have also increased greatly and transformed the role of cities in a globalizing world .

Neoliberalism is seen as productive of a number of negative social effects which in turn require legitimizing strategies to manage and displace. Cities often neoliberalize “to heightened levels of economic uncertainty by engaging in short-termist forms of interspatial competition, place-marketing, and regulatory undercutting in order to attract investments and jobs” (Leitner and Sheppard, 1998; pp.285). Critics of private-public development models challenge the ideological link that claims that the market is ‘value-free’, that competition means that the consumer wins. Yet markets are the exclusive territory of a very select and powerful sector of society ‘structured by, and reflect (ing) differences in, wealth and power’ (Squires, 1996; pp. 268). In the case of the United States, Squires comments that ‘the array of subsidies and related supply-side incentives have not created the anticipated number of jobs or jobs for the intended recipients, tax revenues have not been stabilized as initially expected, and the urban renaissance remains, at best, a hope for the future’ (Squires, 1996; pp. 269). Included in the collateral effects of privatization are: job loss in the case of downscaling with more advanced productive processes, traffic congestion, skyrocketing housing costs, gentrification, and a degeneration of public services as public money is put into economic upgrading of private enterprise zones rather than public services. While national welfare regimes have had to cut budgets to manage increasing costs neoliberal agents and institutions have promoted themselves as the solution to the very problems they have created. Strategies of action by neoliberal policy developers “severely exacerbate many of the regulatory problems they ostensibly aspire to resolve- such as economic stagnation, unemployment, socio-spatial polarization, and uneven development” (Jessop, 2001; pg. 28). Jessop (2001) discusses particular types of compensatory actions by cities which are needed due to the negative consequences of increased privatization, the disappearance of the welfare state, and contradictory exclusion of lower class citizens from the process of urban governance and development. These compensatory policies are described by Jessop as “flanking” and the result of partly the naturalization of neoliberalism as an inevitable rather than intentional social and economic project (Jessop, 2001). Gentrification is an increasing symptom of neoliberal policies. It refers to the urban practices and policies which cause lower income residents to have to move to the periphery of the city center as older historical areas are restored and renovated to sell to upper class business and residents (these areas are often first bought up by large urban property developers and then often sold to foreign investors interested in speculation property). For particular cities and areas of the cities, increased urban renovation of historical areas is related to tourism. When areas of the city are targeted for tourist development often large scale destruction of older home occurs, lower income residents are forced out of the neighbourhoods by speculators inflating prices and property owners engaging in practices like ‘mobbing’ (the purposeful neglect of maintenance in order to get low paying renters to vacate properties for renovation in hopes of attracting high paying buyers), and the disruption of community life and quality of life from noise problems, vandalism, and overuse from ‘visitors’.

Neoliberalizing cities and citizens Making neoliberal cities is an active process relying on change and innovation as essential parts of making spaces and products which ‘sell’ and prove to be able to be successful in highly competitive and often increasingly precarious economic contexts. It is more of a logic which guides particular practice, with the only thread holding it together being its interest in deregulation and reducing the obstacles of geopolitical management policies and practices which restrict its ability to move fluidly with the shifts in market forces. Neoliberal cities will appear in varying uneven forms depending on the dynamics of the market, histories, and positioning of the various cities within relations to the state and international market. So although the cities political structure may work hard to open the city to innovation and investment, the actually occurring projects and political debates of neoliberal urbanization occur in the dynamic mix of the multiple economic and social interests that converge in any given cityspace. Different cities in Western Europe for example are to varying degrees successful or unsucessful in attracting international investors due to changing markets and resource availability, political stability, and a multitude of historical and shifting contemporary factors. The term neoliberalism has been used to capture the trends and patterns in the logics which largely have been forwarded by transnational corporations with the cooperation of multiple levels of international organizations and national and city governments to advantage and attract the investments of foreign economic capital in the form of large scale foreign investments, the housing of corporate headquarters, and the technological and services industries needed to assist the functioning of these entities. Neoliberalism can be seen also as a pattern of ideological principles, economic structures and related practices and agreements which set political and social directions for the interchange of economic capital and the bases for particular types of development that benefit the expansion of capital accumulation for the private sector. There is not one form of neoliberalism, nor one party organizing its development. Neoliberalism is a type of organizing logic largely put in to place by complex and dynamic web of interrelated corporate economic bodies actively formulating agreements and systems of interchange that are constantly in flux, contested, and changing forms with the multitudes of simultaneously occurring shifts in competitive geopolitics, production and technological modes. Various theorists claim a variety of perspectives as to the potential effects and implications of these increasingly more dominant transnational systems of power. The economic theory of neoliberalism claims that although the deregulation of the transnational market or what is termed the ‘free market’ is set up to benefit larger multinational corporations, the benefits from this accumulation of wealth at this level ‘trickles down’ to all levels of society economically. The mobility and temporal quality of the transnational corporation and the global system of the market insure great variability in the form and concentration of activity in any given area. The forces of neoliberalism actualize through an ongoing series of negotiated relations within ‘national, regional, and local contexts defined by the legacies of inherited institutional frameworks, policy regimes, regulatory practices, and political struggles’ (Brenner and Theodore, 2002. pg, 2). Cities are seen as strategic political grounds in which neoliberal agendas meet with the actual material contexts in which they must operate and establish functional networks as well as potentially profitable markets for investments and large scale development projects among others. We will briefly review several select dimensions attributed to neoliberal restructuring which represent some of the major trends in urbanization which mark its more recent neoliberal turn. We focus on how neoliberalizing space refers to the strategies and means by which neoliberal spatial tendencies create neoliberal social relations. As an active form we are interested in ‘how’ cities and citizens become neoliberalized. We will briefly attempt to reflect on how changes to city involve changes in the built environment and social relations. Neoliberal strategies Although neoliberalism is not a form, nor an institutional body, as a logic which orients contemporary geopolitical relations, we will mention a number of general strategies as tendencies and practices whose actual forms or presence varies greatly and are in constant transformation as they must adapt to shifts in economic climates. 1. Privatization As we have mentioned, neoliberalism has changed the power dynamics and balance between government and private enterprise in Western cities and is the central context in which increasing privatization is played out. Neoliberal policies have based their policies on the increasing expansion of privatization both in terms of deregulation and their reliance on an open competitive market as a means to facilitate the progress of society for all citizens. The question this raises concerns who has what rights and responsibilities in the city to make decisions in relation to development and social welfare. ‘For those that count, the city is a growth machine, one that can increase aggregate rents and trap related wealth for those in the right position to benefit. The desire for growth creates a consensus among a wide range of elite groups, no matter how split they might be on other issues’. (Logan and Molotch, 1987. pp 2). Logan and Molotch (1987) speak of the city as a ‘growth machine’ claiming that in the neoliberal relationship the government and the private sector merge in a shared consensus that the central function of a city is to grow. Privatization as mentioned in a previous section involves policy tools such as ‘tax abatements, low-interest loans, land cost writedowns, tax increment finance districts (TIFS), enterprise zones, urban development action grants (UDAG’s), industrial revenue bonds (IRB’s), redevelopment authorities, eminent domain’ and other private-public incentives in which private investment is publicly subsidized (Squires, 1996, pg.268). 2. Rescaling terms In terms of scale, we can see a system of differentiation in terms of priorities. The legal system is set up to protect property owners and in theory those who rent. In terms of a pyramid the large property owners are on the top of the pyramid; they have the ability and rights to change the physical structures, to buy rental licenses and to pay lawyers if there is a conflict. They are mobile to a certain degree as they have less attachment to place, depending on the market. Smaller property owners who live in at least one of their flats are lower on the pyramid, they have the constraints of being neighbours and have to manage social relations where they live, they are usually less mobile due to their attachment to place, and thus have to adapt to the market in a location rather than have the ability to move when the market conditions rise and fall. The renter in this case is on the next rung, depending on the contract they have less rights, perhaps no longevity and can not move easily, although the have the advantage of not being ‘legally’ responsible for some areas of maintenance and can leave with less dependence on market conditions. There is a sort of grey status in which immigrants have some legal rights or in the case of immigrants without ‘papers’, no rights, but often work and rent apartments. The homeless are on the bottom of the rung in relation to legal rights in this context. They have no claim to voice or to decision making power or the ‘use’ of space. They do not ‘belong’ there. So the modern/colonial system uses scale to make a hierarchy that privileges those that can and have accumulated capital, and particularly those that enter can make use of the market level of the system. 3. Shifting the roles of the State and the City Siempre contando con el respaldo de una inversión pública sin límites que refuerza esta opción estratégica y que ha llevado al País Valenciano a convertirse en una de las comunidades autónomas más endeudadas del Estado. La ampliación de los aeropuertos de Valencia y Alicante, la construcción de un aeropuerto en Castellón, la conexión por AVE con Madrid y el eje mediterráneo, la puesta en marcha de nuevas autovías y la mejora de las carreteras, forman también parte de un proyecto territorial que avanza implacable, evidenciando las consecuencias del urbanismo neoliberal. (Orueta, Fernando Diaz, 2006) Neoliberalism has been accompanied by a shift in the roles of the city government and the State as related to the increasing ‘power’ of the international market (the particular multinational corporations operating in that country, city, etc.; and international market institutions: the World Bank, IMF, and the G8 or G12). The State and city government’s role becomes increasingly to adjust the conditions necessary for the advancement of the market economy which may vary greatly depending on the region, one example being the formation of private-public alliances as strategic partners. Who pays? ‘Finally, as a project to reorganize civil society, neoliberalism is linked to a wider range of political subjects than is typical of orthodox liberalism. It tends to promote ‘community’ (or the plurality of self-organizing communities) as a flanking, compensatory mechanism for the inadequacies of the market mechanism. This is yet another area where cities or city-regions acquire significance in the neoliberal project, since they are major sites of initiative as well as of the accumulating economic and social tensions associated with neoliberal projects.’ (Jessop, 2002; pg.455). Critical geographers discuss the shift from the State as ‘protectionist’ (protecting public interests by regulating market forces) toward a State of ‘management’ in which the State increasingly is charged with cleaning up or coping with the ‘byproducts’ of neoliberalism in terms of increasing poverty, the breakdown of the social security system and increasing healthcare costs, cost of living in terms of real costs and housing, and numbers of economic immigration, dislocation and ‘social distress’ . The State increasingly is in the role of picking up the costs of neoliberal ‘business’ ventures while cities must attempt to maximize their ability to extract and accumulate capital. The States decreased power in terms of regulating the economy has made the cities both more vulnerable and freer to involve themselves in international market with neoliberal political interests gaining popularity with their emphasis on programs which make their particular cities to become a more competitive player in transnational economics. For some cities and regions this has meant to them greater freedom to work independently from the state apparatus within international markets and particular business sectors have benefited greatly. For other regions or areas of the economies of particular cities it has meant recession, loss of jobs, and increasing disparity between classes. Neolibearlism positions the city as a business whose market and economies depend on attracting transnational capital investments and generate profit generating business ventures. This shift in the role of the State and local city governments in relation to private capital interests is central in understanding the relation of social welfare and what is driving urban development agendas. The State and the city both become promoters and regulators for a market system which works primarily to the advantage of the private system of capital accumulation which increasingly have less need to maintain any type of national allegiances. So in this sense the State and the city, although in different roles, become neoliberal mechanisms for private capitalism accumulation. Given this foundational shift in at least the theoretical role of the State, we can problematize and question the manner in which urban political discourses work to both promote and legitimize increasingly more privatized interventionist forms of regulation and control through in which the city and citizen are being ‘produced’. Neoliberal urban discourses are active in producing the ideological principle that what is good for private business interests is in the long run good for the citizens and communities, a direct shift away from the ideology of the welfare state. These principles and shifts in the discourses of the ‘private and public’ are foundational in terms of ideology and practice and are essential to consider in the analysis of how urban development is occurring both in the sense of the built environment and the issues surrounding governmentality and regulation. Neoliberalism as a series of logics underpins a major social change in Western relations and development and is at the centre of many of the discontents brought forward by contemporary urban social movements. For the purposes of critical analysis, is important to break down the productivity of neoliberal urban discourse as a strategy, ideology and pattern of social relations which can be identified at the level of concrete urban restructuring, debate, and its accompanying resistance. 4. Merging of city government and the private sector Neoliberalism has signalled the accepted merger of public and private interests. As can be seen in many examples on different scales, neoliberal policy has pushed for the government to reduce its role as a regulator of economic affairs and rely on open markets to provide even public services to the population. In the United States this can be seen in the push for privatized health care services, prisons, mental health services, education, and leisure activities. Molotch discusses the neoliberal city as a ‘growth machine’ indicating that as the government attempted to cope with economic declines in the 1970’s they increasingly looked to the solution as fusing private and public interests through the formation of public and private urban associations (Molotch, 1987). These associations have strong ideological and political impacts as they assume that the interests of the private sector are the same as the interests of the public sector. This blurring of the private and public serves also serves to facilitate the collapse of the welfare state with increasing reliance on ‘market logic’ to solve the problems of social needs. The rational for public and private associations is that they will generate in the long run more income for the city government and bring business to the local area, thus productivity will be higher than in public ‘uncompetitive’ services and the benefits trickled down. For example, Barcelona has become recognized as a progressive economic area due to its ‘model’ private-public associations. One of the more well known examples is an association called 22@Barcelona which brought city officials and private investors into a renovation project designed to turn a former industrial and residential area which had many unused and abandoned factories into an upper class high tech business area. Essentially the renovated cityspace was redesigned to fit the needs of high tech corporations with the claim that it also considered residents needs by including subsidized housing. ‘22@Barcelona is building a new compact city, where the most innovative companies co-exist with research, training and tech transfer centres, as well as housing (4,000 new subsidized residences), facilities (145,000 m2 of land) and green areas (114,000 m2). This model city coexists with the neighbourhood’s industrial heritage thanks to the Industrial Heritage Protection Plan, written jointly by 22@Barcelona and the Barcelona City Council, which conserves 114 elements of architectural interest. http://www.22barcelona.com/content/blogcategory/50/281/lang,en/ Neoliberal city discourses justify private-public development corporations and associations on the claim that particular market driven adaptations are what are best for the residents of the neighbourhood and city residents in general. Thus in contrast to the city government being in the position to speak for the citizens needs and counter the pressures of capitalist investors, the city jumps sides and claims that what is good for business is good for the population. Logan and Molotch summarize how the ‘city’ works to create a ‘good business climate’: 1. Creating transportation links in the area 2. Making these areas wired for high technology and corporate communication needs. 3. Lower access costs of raw materials and markets by creating shipping lines and ports to move goods. 4. Decrease corporate overhead costs through sympathetic policies on pollution, abatement, employee health standards, and taxes. 5. Reducing labour costs directly by pushing welfare recipients into lower paying jobs and restricting or limiting union organizing. 6. Increasing utility costs which are born by the public. 7. Federally financed programs which can be harnessed to provide cheap water supplies 8. State agencies can be manipulated to subsidize insurance rates. 9. Government and military institutions can be used to provide skilled employees. (Logan and Molotch, 1987. pp. 7) Creating a good business climate is about creating an ideological shift from the separation of the State and private enterprise into a merger in which the resident is supposed to see the two systems as mutual and working for the same cause. The agency in terms of profit interest is minimized and rather than seeing the government as becoming capitalistic, we are to see businesses as become community members, which some might claim is a perverse distortion of the reality that is occurring. The ideology is presented with what appears as a value-free development system based on expressions such as public/private cooperation. The challenge for the government and private enterprise is to ‘connect civic pride to the growth goal, tying the presumed economic and social benefits of growth in general to growth in the local area’ (Logan, 1987, pp.9) 5. Tourism Particular neighbourhoods have been targeted by city planners in the past 20 years intensively for major restructuring, explicitly as a part of the old cities historical sites and as important development site for investors and tourism. In these popular tourist sights there exists growing tensions between the tourist populations which arrive to the city for brief periods to relax and celebrate their vacations, or foreign investors which renovate older historical buildings and rent them to these tourists, and the residents who may have lived in the same apartments for three generations. The space, time and place differences between these groups at times collide in radically different logics, and raise tensions between those who stand to profit from foreigners and those who don’t. Vignette: Tourist apartments A Catalan woman has taken up solo residence as an adult in la Barceloneta where she has lived for the past 5 years. Famous for its narrow 4-5 story homes, the residents joke about how they sit on the porch and have coffee with their neighbours on the balcony opposite theirs. She has a 5 year rental contract and has lived on the 4th floor flat for many years. She has renovated her flat and paid for most of these upgrade on her salary from her job as a telecommunications operator with a large multinational telecommunications company. The apartment and balcony opposite her and another two floors down have been converted into tourist apartments with tourists arriving for days or weeks to spend their vacations. Every night she lays anxiously to see at what time these tourists will get home from the bars and sit on their balconies drinking, talking, laughing, and playing music. She has to get up at 6:30 every morning to go to work, they often stay up all night during the weekdays and weekends, they are on vacation. She has made numerous complaints to the police for the noise and they occasionally talk to the tourists and promise to keep the noise down. The police leave and the noise begins again. She is a calm woman who recently told me she was ready to ‘kill them all’, as every night she is unsure if she will be woken, even with earplugs. She has gone to the doctor and been prescribed pills for anxiety. If the problem gets worse she may have to move although she has everything invested in her flat and is very connected to the community where she lives. She wants to know what recourse she has? Should the neighbourhood create its own informal ‘police’ force to demand that these tourists respect the fact that it is a residential neighbourhood, should they sue the property owners, check to see if they have legal licenses? Show up at the official public audience to register a complaint? If the city government cares to much about the ‘quality’ of the neighbourhood why don’t they deal with this problem? In this case its clear that the private sector and its profit system is dominating the space and leaves residents sarcastic when they read the urban promotional campaigns for how much the city cares. In this vignette, various time dimensions and needs are converging. One type of time is on a more traditional working class schedule, 40 hours or more a week to pay bills, and survive. So Monday through Friday this person has to get up at 6.30am to go to work and needs to be able to go to sleep ‘early’ to be able to function at work effectively in a job that is stressful and requires concentration. This is the traditional time of the working class in urban western cities of the modern/colonial system, a type of production of space in which the daily routine revolves around the working week. The tourist time schedule in contrast is a type of leisure class construction and in a sense is open and set up for entertainment and pleasure, its identification with the space, time and ‘place’ is as a commodity, it sets them up for pleasure and the neoliberal city caters to this ‘pleasure’ hunting. This use of space has little relation with the local people, particularly residents; it is anonymous in one sense and responsible only in terms of economic exchange and the civil law. It consumes for a brief period of time and leaves when it’s finished. Those that gain from this exchange are those that profit from these types of consumption. Tourists are attracted to particular locations in the city, places that are set up for their pleasure needs. The debate over the use of space in this case is a social debate over priority in terms of whose ‘time’ and ‘space’ are prioritized in any given moment. What are the options that are available for this woman in this context? It is interesting that when one considers the options she might pursue some aspects of the systems of power relations become clearer. After attempting to change the system through the prescribed system of police reports, she jokingly thought about how to change the system outside of the prescribed system. To confront the system of tourism you immediately face the legal system in that you can not disturb tourists who are not doing anything ‘illegal’. So if you are to create a social force against tourism or attempt to regulate tourists, you face a legal system that will protect their rights to consume space, to move freely, to photograph, drink, make noise, and to enter public space with no special restrictions. If you were to attempt to make the conflict more open with leafleting or disrupting their freedom to consume as they do, you would face the legal system, the edges of the modern/system of power. Residents have little recourse to stop ‘private consumption’ in terms of tourism, and will face legal actions if they do. These borders are limits are important to consider when we think of the urban discourses of the city and the groups which are prioritized in terms of residents in their policies and practices. In this way we can look at discourses as boundaries and then imagine what happens if we think or step outside of them. 6. New subjectivities Who has what rights in this place? How is the history of the place expressed in the built forms, in the political structure, in the social relations which make up this space? We can think of the physical structures, the shapes and designs, dimensions of the space as expressions of social relations and even as conflicting dynamics between interests. The official discourse of the city government is that its priority is the residents of the city and pledges to reach a balance with the private system without over compromising the quality of life of the residents. Yet at the same time neoliberal urban discourses stress the importance of public and private associations and planning schemes as a way to reach this balance. In terms of city politics, the government positions itself as a representative of the interests of all the residents of the city, serving as a kind of mediator, promoter and protector of a quality of life as well as a primary source of advocacy and driver for the economic sovereignty of its residents including (through) its businesses. The city is in the role of scaling and protecting, making legal systems that controls the means of regulation and enforcement, gives rental licenses to property owners, and has laws that supposedly keep ‘the peace’. Yet the city government in terms of urban development and regulation needs to be a productive force in the accumulation of capital it identifies as a residential force, but can it really operate as an alternative logic to the modern/colonial ‘neoliberal’ system of accumulation? Under what conditions could it effectively challenge accumulation strategies of private industry on any foundational level? What is also important to contextualize is that urbanization is not only a material process but involves attempts to forward certain ways of thinking or epistemologies which marginalizing others. Examining these forms of reproduction and resistance is important to grasp how power relations themselves are actually being (re)produced. How to create a neoliberal city? Create a system of interrelated and associated administrative hierarchies, laws, popular and intellectual discourses, and histories which work to: 1. Convince popular culture that globalization (in the form of the increasing domination and power of multinational corporations by making) is inevitable, outside of the control of nations, cities, and city populations and that there are only two options: be successful or fail in terms of competing in the ‘free market’. 2. Promote the illusion to the population that the ‘free market’ means they are ‘freer’. Like good magicians give them lots of choices which actually forward your interests (usually profit interests) that you selected for them and they will think they are ‘free to choose’ and never consider who decides what the options are or that they are supporting your accumulation of wealth. 3. Create the popular belief that a central aspect of being successful and having a good quality of life for the residents is creating city spaces which attract large scale foreign investments in the form of built environment, multinational corporation headquarter and operation centers, and tourism. 4. Create histories about the city which make neoliberal colonial/capitalism the natural evolution of advanced societies as the most progressive and well adapted form of social relations in terms of all areas of society including; the protection of the environment and management of resources; technological development which improves the quality of life for all; education, health, and social welfare. 5. Make poverty illegal in the city and a result of poor immigrants who want to take advantage of the rich countries success and steal and cheat to do so. Make colonialism a historical event which was an unpleasant but necessary by-product of European civilizations advancement and success. Make the domination and exploitation of multinational corporations in the ‘former’ colonized parts of the world, a simple matter of capitalisms Darwinian rationalization called ‘survival of the fittest’, and then create ‘aid’ organizations funded by the same multinationals to show that they are part of the ‘solution’ rather than the problem. 6. Promote the city government as democratic, based in popular support, and has as its central priority the improvement of the quality of life for all residents above all other concerns or interests. 7. Give the impression that the public and private sector actually share the same interests and that profits motives and public welfare actually can work together harmoniously to create the ‘best’ city for those that live there. Then create powerful public/private ‘development’ corporations which at least 51% of the shareholders are from the wealthy private sector and take over poorer historical areas to turn them into privatized ‘chic’ business areas or living areas for the employees. Carefully designate a small proportion of these areas to newly constructed block social housing managed by private property developers with a large percentage of public funds. 8. Take over and manage the renovations that are open in the city with a few goals in mind: a. Call them ‘public space’ and give the impression that the city and police are the best managers to ensure these spaces are attractive, useful, clean, and ‘peaceful’. Under no conditions let the residents of these areas gain the impression they have the right, ability, or capacity to decide and manage what happens in the open areas or plazas where they live. b. Make sure that residents learn to deal with all social problems by calling the city police or complain to city officials rather than form their own associations and get the impression they can form communities where their problems can be discussed and dealt with through relationships. c. Target poorer historical areas of the central city and make them into theme attractions for tourists. d. Make plazas and other open areas places which are controlled and regulated under newly establish civic norms where you make illegal a series of behaviours that a lot of residents don’t like to live around (peeing and prostitution) which then lets you police and regulate the spaces to keep them happy places for tourism to pass and spend money. e. Build large cement areas where there are no places for gardens or play areas such as basketball or soccer. f. Create areas where you can have large scale private functions such as ‘merchandise’ sales, small booths filled with tourist items, artist performances which are regulated and controlled by the city with no political content. g. Decrease as much as possible spontaneous socializing, play, or most importantly political encounters. 9. In regards to tourism make sure that they: a. Have only regulated and safe contact with the residents of the city and particularly with the communities in which they stay in. Better if they don’t speak the language or try to. Dont let them study the polemic political histories of the city or the areas they stay in, otherwise they might have to think and consider how they are participating as consumers of the lives of those they live next to, or worse have to even for a brief moment think that they are in relationships with the communities in which they use their houses, eat their food, and take up there space. b. Preferably only when they are consuming products and services such as in discos, large restaurants, multinational stores such as Starbucks, Body Shop, and H&M. Put lots of police in these tourits areas and don’t hassle them if they are drunk or disorderly or keeping up residents by yelling while stumbling home from the discos and bars. Make sure they know they can act like ‘animals’ and that the residents have not real power to relate to them, they are shielded from the communities in which they stay and party. How to create a neoliberal citizen? The essential component of creating a neoliberal citizen lies in the well developed and sophisticated ways in which you create the conditions so that they will think that they are ‘free’ while they think and act the way that you need them to so that you accumulate wealth and minimize their opposition. The key target for creating this citizen then relies on how you can create self identities for them based on a number of considerations, such that they: 1. Learn to think of ‘self’ as an essential characteristic of who they are, a given based on particular qualities which they own and to be happy must exploit, defend and treasure. Next in line they think of their families and friends from their class, and chosen community’s such as your social clubs and business associations. Convince them that life is based on success or failure and the development of ‘self’ is the most important project in life and those who develop the ‘self’ successfully will be happy, rich, have good sex, and make happy families. 2. Believe in their nation for its cultural heritage, but realize that the new economy is global, so they only need to protect national borders from poor immigrants who will drag down their economies by taking their jobs for low wages, make their streets unsafe, and bring strange diseases to their children. Also they need to be convinced to pay lots of taxes to have lots of police and secret security forces to destroy immigrant mafias who bring drugs to their children and take wealth from their areas. 3. Teach them to trust psychological experts to train them how to be successful in their ‘self’ project. If they feel uncomfortable they should go to these experts or read their literature and follow their instructions. If they feel really uncomfortable for any extended period of time they should go to a psychological specialist and tell them about their ‘problems’. Most psychological problems are being discovered to have to do with biological chemical problems which they are not to blame for but they need to treat by taking medicine and seeing the psychological doctor for possibly the rest of their lives (since biological problems don’t go away, they usually only can be managed and treated by correcting imbalances). 4. Above all, never let them think their uncomfortableness has to do with the social or environmental conditions they are in. This leads to erroneous thinking such as the conditions they are in may be the reason they are uncomfortable, of even crazier thoughts such as changing the conditions of their life in terms of the relations in which they are organized will shift your sense of purpose and confidence. 5. Reassure them that the experts around them who are sanctioned by the State know what they are doing and always have your best interests in mind. Warn them not to listen to people and especially groups which try to tell them that the ‘good society’ they are in, or the ‘good government’ they have are actually out for their own interests. At least if they have a bad attitude towards political or business people who are trying to help make a better society, make sure they understand that a few bad apples don’t spoil the bunch, the system is good, maybe not perfect, but it’s the best we have. The alternative as we have seen historically is tyranny; Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Franco...which of course have all led to great suffering rather than the good society we have. 6. They need to be constantly reminded to be ‘good citizens’, follow the laws and see how the city is helping them understand how to be a ‘good citizens’ and make their communities and a part of the modern ‘good society’. Two important city programs they should appreciate: the new civic laws which will instruct them on how to act in the most modern way and the ‘participatory programs’ so that they get involved in politics. 7. THE CIVIC LAW: They should understand the rules: a. Use the city to consume and make yourself happy. Don’t do things that will bother your neighbours such as play in public spaces, or make noise. Don’t have gatherings of more than two or three, make them short conversations and move on, everybody needs to use public space, so don’t overuse your time. Keep your items out of public spaces and don’t use them for any purposes such as community gatherings, or entertainment without the sanction of the city and the police monitoring you. b. If you see someone acting uncivically, immediately call the police. Then talk to them and go home. Don’t every deal with something you don’t like by talking to your neighbours, that can lead to dangerous situations like violence and destruction of property. We have to monitor our own public spaces because there are lots of places that don’t have cameras yet. And even so, knowing a neighbour is watching you is always more powerful than a camera, even if the police are around the corner! 8. PARTICIPATORY POLITICS a. Participate in public meetings and inform yourself about how the city is working to improve your area. Give them your opinion about the options they provide for you. Help out with promotional campaigns when you can. Tell your neighbours what the city is doing to improve your lives and how private corporations are working with the city, at times giving lots of money to help your communities grow. If you disagree with some of the city’s plans or don’t like the option you want, you can always write them a letter and they will get back to you as soon as they can. Trust that you have elected them, they know what your needs and concerns are, and they have the technical expertise, so don’t worry, they are probably already working on your problem. 9. If they must think about the increasing poverty and inequality of the world, they should be taught to be happy they are on the right side of it due to the hard work of their ‘forefathers’ and understand that poor people take a lot longer to be able to be successful, that the ‘free market’ makes it easier for them to become good workers and educated, and that eventually competition itself with trickle down to them and even if they aren’t educated or have the ability to advance in their work and life, their conditions will improve. This is due to the generosity of our wealthy society, so we can be proud how much we help poor people and poor countries out. Where would they be without us? We bring them business and opportunity, so things will improve because we are working hard in our labs, offices, and in the field to make things better for them. Some countries still have a lot of bad people, and even bad governments with terrorists in them. They try to blame us for their lack of success, and even try to blow us up and kill us or other peaceful advanced countries like Israel. We do our best and if they need to be punished because the only thing they respond to is fear, then we will demonstrate that we have no shortage of power to make them tremble and even destroy them if we need to, to make the world safe for all. But don’t trouble yourselves with these ‘big’ thoughts, we are taking care of things and even your and my men and women are risking their lives so that you don’t have to think. 10. Be sensitive to how to ‘teach’ particular residents according to sex, class, gender, and race so that you both understand what images you can promote, laws, institutional systems, etc, so that you will have as much support and participation as possible. APPENDIX I Neoliberal transurban tendencies towards reflexive and entrepreneurial city governance (Peck and Tickel, 2002): 1. The normalization of a ‘growth first’ approach to urban development, reconstituting social –welfarist arrangements as anticompetitive costs and rendering issues of redistribution and social investment as antagonistic to the overriding objectives of economic development. 2. The pervasive naturalization of market logics, justifying on the grounds of efficiency and even ‘fairness’ their installation, as the dominant metrics of policy evaluation. 3. Through a combination of competitive regimes of resource allocation, skewed municipal-lending policies, and outright political pressure undermines or forecloses alternative paths of urban development based for example, on social redistribution, economic rights, or public investment. This produces a neoliberal ‘lock-in’ of public sector austerity and growth-chasing economic development. 4. Putting the cities in positions where they are pressured to actively-and-responsively-scan the horizon for investment and promotion opportunities, monitoring ‘competitors’, and emulating ‘best practices’, lest they be left behind in this intensifying competitive struggle for the kinds of resources (public and private) that neoliberalism has helped make (more) mobile. 5. Narrowing urban policy repertoire based on capital subsidies, place promotion, supply-side intervention, central-city makeovers, and local boosterism. 6. Creates a situation where national and transnational governments funds increasingly flow to cities on the basis of economic potential and governance capacity rather than manifest social need. 7. Regressive welfare reforms and labor-market polarization, for example, are leading to the (re)urbanization of (working and non-working) poverty, positioning cities at the bleeding edge of processes of punitive institution building, social surveillance, and authoritarian governance. APPENDIX II Mechanisms of Neoliberal Localization (Brenner and Theodore, 2002; pg. 22-23). Mechanisms of Localization Moment of Destruction Moments of Creation 1. Recalibration of intergovernmental relations. -Dismantling of earlier systems of governmental support for municipal activities. - Devolution of new tasks, burdens and responsibilities to municipalities; creation of new incentive structures to reward local entrepreneurialism and to catalyze “endogenous growth”. 2. Retrenchment of public finance. -Imposition of fiscal austerity measures upon municipal governments. - Creation of new revenue-collection districts and increased reliance of local municipalities upon local sources or revenue, user fees, and other private finance. 3. Restructuring the welfare state. -Local relays of national welfare service-provision are retrenched; assault on managerial-welfarist local state apparatus. -Expansion of community-based sectors and private approaches to social services provision. -Imposition of mandatory work requirements on urban welfare recipients; new (local) forms of workfare experimentation. 4. Reconfiguring the institutional infrastructure of the local state. -Dismantling of bureaucratized hierarchical forms of local public administration. -Devolution of erstwhile state tasks to voluntary community networks. - Assault on traditional relays of local democratic accountability. - “Rolling forward” of new networked forms of local governance bassed upon public-private partnerships, “quangos”, and the “new public management”. - Establishment of new institutional relays through which elite business interests can directly influence major local development decisions. 5. Privatization of the municipal public sector and collective infrastructures. - Elimination of public monopolies for the provision of standardized municipal services. - Privatization and competitive contracting of municipal services. - Creation of new markets for service delivery and infrastructure maintenance. - Creation of privatized, customized, and networked urban infrastructures intended to (re)position cities within supranational capital flows. 6. Restructuring urban housing markets. - Razing public housing and other forms of low-rent accommodation. - Elimination of rent controls and project-based construction subsidies. - Creation of new opportunities for speculative investment in central city real estate markets. - Emergency shelters become “warehouses” for the homeless. - Introduction of market rents and tenant-based vouchers in low-rent niches of urban housing markets. 7. Reworking labor market regulation. - Dismantling of traditional, publicly funded education, skills training, and apprenticeship programs for youth, displaced workers, and the unemployed. -Creation of new regulatory environment in which temporary staffing agencies, unregulated “labour corners” and other forms of contingent work can proliferate. - Implementation of work-readiness programs aimed at the construction of workers into low-wage jobs. - Expansion of informal economies. 8. Restructuring strategies of territorial development. - Dismantling of autocentric national models of capitalist growth. -Destruction of traditional compensatory regional policies. - Increasing exposure of local and regional economies to global competitive forces. -Fragmentation of national space economies into discrete urban and regional industrial systems. - Creation of free trade zones, enterprise zones, and other deregulated spaces within major urban regions. - Creation of new development areas, technopoles, and other new industrial spaces at subnational scales. - Mobilization of new “glocal” strategies intended to rechannel economic capacities and infrastructure investments into “glocally connected” local/regional agglomerations. 9. Transformations of the built environment and urban form. - Elimination and/or intensified surveillance of urban public spaces. - Destruction of traditional working-class neighbourhoods in order to make way for speculative redevelopment. - Retreat from community oriented planning initiatives. - Creation of privatized spaces of elite/corporate consumption. - Construction of large-scale megaprojects intended to attract corporate investment and reconfigure local land-use patterns. -Creation of gated communities, urban enclaves, and other “purified” spaces of social reproduction. - “Rolling forward” of the gentrification frontier and intensification of sociospatial polarization. -Adoption of the principle of “highest and best use” as the basis for major land-use decisions. 10. Interlocal policy transfer. - Erosion of contextually sensitive approaches to local policymaking. - Marginilization of “home-grown” solutions to localized market and governance failures. - Diffusion of generic, prototypical approaches to “modernizing” reform among policymakers in search of quick fixes for local social problems (eg. Welfare to work programs, place-marketing strategies, zero-tolerance crime policies, etc.). - Imposition of decontextualized “best practices” models upon local policy environments. 11. Re-regulation of urban civil society. - Destruction of the “liberal city” in which all inhabitants are entitled to basic civil liberties, social services, and political rights. -Mobilization of zero-tolerance crime policies and “broken window” policing. - Introduction of new discriminatory forms of surveillance and social control. - Introduction of new policies to combat social exclusion by reinserting individuals into the labour market. 12. Re-representing the city. - Postwar image of the industrial, working-class city is recast through a (re)emphasis on urban disorder, “dangerous classes” and economic decline. - Mobilization of entrepreneurial discourses and representations focused on the need for revitalization, reinvestment, and rejuvenation within major metropolitan areas.