Urban Warfare: Housing under the Empire of Finance (Paperback)
The most comprehensive survey of the current crisis, Urban Warfare charts how the financial crisis and wider urban politics have left millions homeless and in financial desperation across the world.
The financialization of housing has become a global catastrophe, leaving millions desperate and homeless. Since the 2008 financial collapse, models of home ownership, originating in the US and UK, are being exported around the world. Using examples from across the globe, Rolnik shows how our cities have been sold to construction companies and banks, while supported by government-facilitated schemes, such as “the right to buy” subsidies and micro-financing. Our homes and neighbourhoods have become the “last subprime frontiers of capitalism,” organised by those who benefit the most.
Raquel Rolnik is a professor of Urban Planning at the University of São Paulo. She was National Secretary for Urban Programmes of the Brazilian Ministry of Cities (2003–2007). From 2008 to 2014, she held the mandate of UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing and visited the US and UK, among other countries, causing some controversy on housing policies.
—David Harvey, author of Rebel Cities
“A truly brilliant book.”
“The clarity and vehemence of [Urban Warfare] is a tonic for anyone used to the combination of boosterism and sentimentality that marks so much urbanist writing.”
—Owen Hatherley, Architectural Review
“At a time when much current academic research on housing and urban studies prioritises the technical and methodological over the conceptual, big data over thick description, the numerous, short vignettes in Rolnik’s book remind us of the effectiveness of a real story to convey a wider message.”
—International Journal of Housing Policy