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Cities of Exception explores rapidly growing cities, produced by vast flows of capital and the unmapping of previous territories. The section explores both the production of new urban spaces, and the politics of competing urban groups for inclusion into or separation from the city.


Hyun Shin.All rights reserved.

Modern slavery bill: migrant domestic workers fall through the gaps

UK immigration rules currently prevent migrant domestic workers from changing employers. This removes these migrant workers’ fundamental rights and leaves them vulnerable to abuse.

The everywhere of sanitation: violence, oppression and the body

New Prime Minister Narendra Modi has had nothing to say on the attacks in Uttar Pradesh, but a debate has emerged in India about how a rich country can lag so dangerously far behind its competitors in providing basic safe and clean sanitation.

The urban paradox

As Cities in Conflict goes on hiatus, I take a look back at the past fourteen months of publishing articles, film, photo-essays, mappings and infographics on the series, and comment on where urbanism is today: stuck between logics of saviourism and withdrawal.

Dompak eco-city: a tale of corruption

The creation of new master-planned cities is an emerging transnational trend stretching across Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Indonesia’s dream of a clean, modern eco-city in Dompak, however has been mired by the corruption of local and national elites.

Beyond the Kunming attack

The recent attacks on Kunming train station represent a watershed moment in China-Uyghur relations, as Uyghurs across China face widespread recriminations.

Crime and politics in Crimea

The link between crime and politics in Crimea has been evident for some time. Now, crime boss Sergei Aksyonov – the ‘Goblin’ – has become its self-declared leader…

25 years of MIPIM is enough

Real estate managers, asset dealers and city sellers at this years MIPIM, the world's biggest property fair, will for the first time be met by a Europe-wide coalition, calling for an end to the great city sell-off.

From Olympic spectacle to social crisis: review of Future Suspended

Review: Crisis-Scape's new film invites us in to the shadows of Athens, a city tenuously held together by state imposed order, privatisation, anxiety and violence.

Athens: future suspended

Watch: What impact does a global financial crisis have on everyday life in the city? Crisis-Scape's final 35' documentary film traces the multiple transformations of crisis-ridden Athenian public space and those who traverse it.

The resilience of neoliberal urbanism

Resilience, the latest urban policy and think tank buzzword extolled upon the world's urban dwellers, operates as an insidious alias to dispossession and territorial stigmatisation.

Charter cities in Honduras?

Are private cities the miracle cure for Honduras' surging violent crime, state violence and institutional disarray?

Bloomberg's biopolitics: the molecular mayor

Looking back on three terms of Michael Bloomberg we see a mayor who sought to fundamentally change New York’s character through a series of interventions in the City’s body and the bodies of its citizens.

Visualizing Palestine

Over the past two years, Visualizing Palestine has harnessed visual storytelling to bring public attention to the daily injustices facing Palestinians. Here they present four infographics on dispossession, administrative detention, the wall and Palestinian refugees. Click to enlarge.

City bypassed: the casualties of Mumbai's urban renewal

Watch: A short film exploring Mumbai's urban renewal as seen from Byculla, a multicultural inner-city neighbourhood symbolically and physically bypassed by road infastructure projects in Mumbai's race for global city status (13 mins).

Football, politics and protest in Brazil

The protests on the streets of Brazilian cities are by no means anti-Brazil (or even anti-football). Rather, they are unquestionably patriotic: people believe that Brazilian public education, healthcare, and democracy should be every bit as admirable as the national football team.

Copa pra quem?

In Belo Horizonte, under the slogan "Copa pra quem?" (Whose Cup?) thousands have taken to the streets, occupied and set-up neighbourhood assemblies to reclaim their city from World Cup forces.

The demonstration games

Recent protests over a bus fare increase signal a major shift in Brazilian society as the growing middle class demands social justice. But what future is there for a movement without leadership or clear direction?

Spectacle and surveillance in Brazil

The unprecedented series of mega-events which are set to take place across Brazil in the coming years have lead to heightened security in host cities – a gold mine for the global private defence industry.

Creating subjects in Lavasa: the private city

Through a process of devolution to private enterprises, a number of private cities are emerging across the Indian landscape. While private cities have been lauded by some as symbolic of a modern, global India, their impact on the nature of democracy and citizenship in the emerging city remains a contentious issue.

Laying siege to the villages: neighbourhoods for the working poor

Part 4: As of 2013, with a population of 140,000 residents Baishizhou was the largest of Shenzhen's urban villages. The sheer size and density of the village highlights the contradictions between formal and informal urbanization of the city.

Laying siege to the villages: neoliberalizing the bamboo curtain

Part 2: Both Cold War geo-politics and the rush to develop the neoliberal city informed the development of a particular form of urban inequality within Shenzhen's informal villages.  Next: Informal urbanization in the outer districts

Laying siege to the villages: the Nantou peninsula

Part 1: The urbanization of Shenzhen references three key moments in China's history. Such moments are spatially expressed in concentric development around traditional villages. Next: Neoliberalizing the bamboo curtain

Laying siege to the villages: lessons from Shenzhen

In this 4-part series, Mary Ann O'Donnell explores the social antagonisms that have emerged through Shenzhen's informal urbanization of villages. Each article features a corresponding photo-walk. Next: Lessons from Shenzhen: the Nantou peninsula

Shenzhen: constructing the city, reconstructing subjects

Shenzhen, one of our greatest contemporary urban experiments, faces huge challenges in integrating the non-urban populations on which the city was built, into the city-proper.

Pacifying Rio: what's behind Latin America's most talked about security operation

Rio de Janeiro has engaged in an ambitious security operation aimed at freeing its favelas from the control of gangs in time for the 2016 Olympics. But security is not the only rationale behind the program. As with everything, economic interests and international exposure drive Rio's makeover.

Conservation and dispossession in Bogotá

The deployment of conservation zones in Bogotá's 'green' neighbourhoods, is fast becoming an alibi for the dispossession of the city's most vulnerable residents.

Peopling space: contemporary redevelopment in Bogotá

While previous 'security planning'  in Bogotá has been premised on eviction and demolition, emerging redevelopment frameworks are geared toward a far more pervasive practice of urban renovation; the re-peopling of problem areas in the city.

Development and dissent in China's 'urban age'

As China enters an 'urban age' for the first time in its entire history, a new set of urban conflicts over identity, development and inclusion are emerging across the country.

The politics of neglect in post-Mubarak Cairo

The politics of neglect which has long governed Cairo's expansive informal spaces looks set to remain well into the post-Mubarak era.

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