2018, Thu, Nov 08

Democracy Lecture 2018: Richard Sennett—The Struggle for the City

With Richard Sennett, Francesca Bria, Andrej Holm, moderated by Tamara Tischendorf

Richard Sennett | © Thomas Struth

Richard Sennett | © Thomas Struth

The city is booming: By 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in urban areas. This dynamic threatens to intensify existing problems still further, as gentrification, tourism, and rising rents are leading to urban displacement and housing shortages.

Spaces for experimentation, neighborly encounters, and intercultural exchange are dwindling. The more pressing question arises: What should the city of the future look like? Richard Sennett calls for a radically open city—one that develops out of its contradictions and diversity towards a site of democracy and participation—for all.

After lectures by Thomas Piketty (2014), Naomi Klein (2015), Paul Mason (2016), and Wendy Brown (2017), Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik dedicates its fifth Democracy Lecture to the open city. Following the lecture, Richard Sennett will be joined for a discussion by Francesca Bria and Andrej Holm, moderated by Tamara Tischendorf.

Francesca Bria is a social scientist and expert in technological policy. She has been the Commissioner for Technology and Innovation for the municipal government of Barcelona since 2016. Bria also advises the EU Commission in Smart City matters.

Andrej Holm is a social scientist working in the fields of public housing and gentrification. In 2016 he served as the State Secretary in Berlin for Urban Development and Housing.

Richard Sennett teaches Sociology and History at the London School of Economics and at New York University. The author of The Corrosion of Character is one of the most renowned intellectuals of our time. His new book Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City forms the last part of his Homo Faber trilogy, with Together: The Rituals, Pleasures, and Politics of Cooperation and The Craftsman.

Democracy Lecture of the Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik in cooperation with Haus der Kulturen der Welt. With kind support from Carl Hanser Verlag