Ana Betancour's lecture focused on the conflict of interest and
movements surrounding contemporary cities and urban development.
Taking departure from a brief introduction to the notion of
"gentrification" - processes of change in the built environment
where poor dwellers are displaced by the influx of income stronger
residentials - Betancour exemplified with the protests against the
demolition of Istanbul's Gezi Park to construct a new shopping mall
in 2013. Through references to Henri Lefebvre's ideas on "The Right
to the City" she continued to discuss the various protests
regarding the housing situation in Barcelona, mainly concerning the
steady growth in the tourism sector, moving forward to also briefly
explain the displacements caused by the burst housing bubble as the
financial crisis hit Spain in 2008. Lastly, she highlighted
similiarities in the local realm of Umeå with various conflicts
during the 2010's like the privatization of 1600 public rental
appartments in the neighborhoods of Carlshem and Mariehem in
Troughout the examples Betancour emphisized how architects, artists
and designers have experimented to innovate interaction between
their professions and movements to strengten citizens power.
Betancour argued that it is today important for the architectural
educations to discuss the role of the architect in relation to
growing tentions around matters of urban space as more capital is
invested in speculation within that realm.
Lastly, Betancour spoke about the new urban governments in cities
like Barcelona, Naples and Amsterdam often refered to as "Fearless
cities", which have tried to innovate local democracy trough
interaction with urban citizen movements.