Brooklyn, NY 11201 United States
Our cities are changing. Around the world, more and more money is being invested in buildings and land. Real estate is now a $217 trillion dollar industry, worth thirty-six times the value of all the gold ever mined. It forms sixty percent of global assets, and one of the most powerful people in the world—the president of the United States—made his name as a landlord and developer.
Samuel Stein shows that this explosive transformation of urban life and politics has been driven not only by the tastes of wealthy newcomers, but by the state-driven process of urban planning. Planning agencies provide a unique window into the ways the state uses and is used by capital, and the means by which urban renovations are translated into rising real estate values and rising rents.
Capital City explains the role of planners in the real estate state, as well as the remarkable power of planning to reclaim urban life.
“Samuel Stein has written a book for those tired of merely describing gentrification and displacement, who are looking for explanations as well as new programs for action. Capital City puts it all together, the theory and the practices of urban transformation, with a timely and urgent appeal. This is a lively user’s guide to the changing landscape of the American city.” – Peter Marcuse, co-author of In Defense of Housing
Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State by Samuel Stein is available from Verso on March 5th.
Samuel Stein studies geography at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and teaches urban studies at Hunter College. His writing on planning politics been published by Jacobin, The Journal of Urban Affairs, Metropolitics, and many other magazines and journals. In addition to studying and teaching urban geography, he worked as a researcher, organizer, and planner on numerous New York City union campaigns, tenant mobilizations, and public policy initiatives.
Raquel Namuche is a long-time tenant organizer. Born in Peru and raised in Queens, she is an organizer with the Ridgewood Tenants Union, an independent tenant-led housing group she started in 2014.
Rob Robinson was a co-founder and member of the Leadership Committee of the Take Back the Land Movement and a staff volunteer at the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI). He came into the land and housing movement after spending two years homeless on the streets of Miami and ten months in a New York City Homeless shelter.
Shellyne Rodriguez is a community organizer and a visual artist. As an organizer, she is an active member of radical grassroots collective Take Back the Bronx, who agitate and organize for community control of land and housing. As an artist, her work is a decolonial baroque practice which utilizes text, drawing, painting, found materials, and sculpture to depict subjects and spaces in contention with subjugation.
Esteban Girón is a member of the Crown Heights Tenant Union and serves on the board of Tenants PAC. He lives in Crown Heights with his husband Sean and his dog Chicochu, spending his days making life miserable for his landlord and the developers & politicians who are trying to empty his neighborhood of working-class people of color.