Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution

Rousing manifesto on the city and the commons from the acclaimed theorist

Long before Occupy, cities were the subject of much utopian thinking. They are the centers of capital accumulation as well as of revolutionary politics, where deeper currents of social and political change rise to the surface. Do the financiers and developers control access to urban resources or do the people? Who dictates the quality and organization of daily life?

Rebel Cities places the city at the heart of both capital and class struggles, looking at locations ranging from Johannesburg to Mumbai, from New York City to São Paulo. Drawing on the Paris Commune as well as Occupy Wall Street and the London Riots, Harvey asks how cities might be reorganized in more socially just and ecologically sane ways—and how they can become the focus for anti-capitalist resistance.


  • “Whose streets? Our streets! In Rebel Cities David Harvey shows us how we might turn this slogan into a reality. That task—and this book—could hardly be more important.”
  • “David Harvey provoked a revolution in his field and has inspired a generation of radical intellectuals.”
  • “Challenging and timely.”
  • “Forensic and ferocious.”
  • “Harvey’s clarion demand [is] that it is “we”, not the developers, corporate planners, or political elites, who truly build the city, and only we who can seize back our right to its control.”
  • “Intellectuals in the Occupy movement [will] appreciate Rebel Cities' descriptions of the historic and international parallel of urban struggles to reclaim public space and build culture, and be intrigued by Harvey’s musings on how to grow a lively, resilient revolutionary anticapitalist movement.”
  • “A consistent intelligent voice of the left.”


  • In Defense of Housing: David Madden dispels five myths about public housing

    David Madden, co-author of the forthcoming housing justice book In Defense of Housing: The Politics of Crisis, recently demystified popular conceptions of public housing in The Washington Post. Madden's opinion piece in the Post comes as David Simon’s HBO miniseries "Show Me a Hero" brings the legacy and future of public housing development to the fore. The show depicts the clashes over federally mandated public housing developments in Yonkers, NY during the late 1980s and early 1990s. 

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  • "A Situationist ethnography has its own distinct methods" - an extract from The Beach Beneath the Street

    The below is an extract from The Beach Beneath the Street: The Everyday Life and Glorious Times of the Situationist International by McKenzie Wark - currently 50% off on our website as part of our Political Guide to Walking.

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  • Immanuel Kant the, errrr, Walker?

    Immanuel ‘the Königsberg clock’ Kant was renowned for his strict (and rather austere) daily routines. Having been born in Königsberg in 1724, he never left the small German city, dying there in 1804 aged 79 never having once gone further than the city’s limits. Yet despite his somewhat limited empirical knowledge of the world, the intellectual founder of the German Enlightenment had a lifelong passion for knowledge of all kinds. He gained much of his insight  into the world outside of Königsberg from his walks through the docks where he would discuss philosophy, politics, science and travel with Scottish merchants and tradesmen.

    In the second of our extracts from A Philosophy of Walking, (the first one is here) Frederic Gros reflects upon the influence of walking for Kant’s life and thought. Following this, we have a short excerpt from a conversation between the great German playwright Heiner Müller and filmmaker, theorist and writer Alexander Kluge which shows that Kant’s daily life was perhaps a little less puritanical than often assumed, and that his passion for walking allowed him to indulge in more *ahem* exotic pursuits.


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Other books by David Harvey