The Right to the City.

“A ‘logic of representation’ centers on the rights of groups and individuals to make their desires and needs known, to represent themselves to others and to the state – even if through struggle – as legitimate claimants to public considerations. Such a logic requires the acceptance of a (near) universal and positive right of representation. Yet, as with any other right, such a right cannot be guaranteed (“accepted”) in the abstract – rather, it is something always to struggle toward. In this struggle, the development – or often the radical claiming – of a space for representation, a place in which groups and individuals can make themselves visible, is crucial.

While it is no doubt true that the work of citizenship requires a multitude of spaces, from the most private to the most public, at the same time public spaces are decisive, for it is here that the desires and needs of individuals and groups can be seen, and therefore recognized, resisted, or (not at all paradoxically for thoroughly materialist rather than idealist normative social practices ) wiped out. The logic of representation demands the construction  – or, better, the social production – of certain (though not necessarily predetermined) kinds of public space.

–Don Mitchell, “The Right to the City”


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