Urban regimes and ‘gray spacing’: Between privatizing democracy and ‘creeping apartheid’ – Professor Oren Yiftachel

Free Public Lecture, Melbourne – 27 September 2012

The lecture will analyze the impact of structural economic, identity and governance tensions on urban regimes and societies in the 21st century. It draws attention to the pervasive emergence of ‘gray spaces’; that is, informal, temporary or illegal developments, transactions and populations. ‘Gray-spacing’ has become a central feature of urbanism in most parts of the world, as well as a strategy to manage the unwanted/irremovable. Gray spacing enables the mobility of marginalized groups into privileged regions, often under the guise of liberalizing economies, but at the same time puts in train a process of ‘creeping urban apartheid’. These tensions and trends will be illustrated by highlighting research findings from cities around Europe, Africa and Asia, with special focus on the ‘ethnocratic’ cities of Israel/Palestine, such as Beersheba, Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem.

About the speaker:

Professor Yiftachel teaches urban studies and political geography at Ben-Gurion University, Beersheba. His research has focused on critical understandings of the relations between space, power and conflict, with particular attention to ethnic, social and urban aspects of these relations. He has published over 100 articles and ten authored and co-edited books, including Planning a Mixed Region in Israel (1992), Planning as Control: Policy and Resistance in Divided Societies (1995), Israelis in Conflict (2004), Ethnocracy: Land and Identity Politics in Israel/Palestine (2006), and Indigenous (in)Justice (co-author, 2012 forthcoming). He now serves on the editorial boards of seven international journals, including top ranking journals such as Urban Studies, Society and Space and IJMS. He is an essay editor in the journal Planning Theory and a contributing editor of MERIP.  Professor Yiftachel has been an activist in a wide range of human rights and social organizations.

Date:  Thursday 27 September 2012

Time:  5.30pm-6.30pm

Venue:  RMIT City Campus, Research Lounge, (entry via RMIT Building 8, Level 5), 360 Swanston Street, Melbourne

RSVP:  email globalcities@rmit.edu.au by 20 September 2012 (the lecture is free but bookings are essential)