Radical Democracy in Architecture and Urban Planning
In urban space, politics is made: through gentrification and isolation, through authoritarian security measures and adaptation to investment interests. And profit is made: with housing shortages, with concrete gold, with urban space as capital investment. Neoliberal governance and right-wing nationalist campaigns make the city a place of fear and scarcity.
Against this background, the author discusses what a politics in the city can look like instead that is oriented towards democracy and solidarity: as a politics of building and planning as well as always also as an acknowledgement of conflict, as an architectural activity that positions itself critically and enters into alliances with social movements. A radical democratic approach to architecture is formulated here with a scrutinizing look at realized utopias of 1920s Red Vienna as well as on the basis of the (self-)critique of participatory planning of the 1960s, while in new alliances with today`s social movements. Between theoretical concepts and intervening practice, it is a matter of not only defending but much more so of expanding the spaces and margins of democracy, especially in the current crisis of democracy.