Shareable.net has published a terrific interview with Marxist geographer David Harvey on the future of cities as a place for commoning. It’s a timely conversation now that many people believe that cities, not nation-states, will be the focus for economic and political renewal.
Harvey, the author of such insightful books as A Short Introduction to Neoliberalism, The Enigma of Capital and Rebel Cities, spoke with San Francisco activist Chris Carlsson, who is co-director of the multimedia history project Shaping San Francisco (a wiki-based digital archive at foundsf.org). Carlsson is also a writer, publisher, editor, and community organizer.
Shareable publisher Neal Gorenflo introduces the interview by noting that so much of the conversation about renewing cities ignores a basic reality: "The commons is the goose that lays the golden eggs. Without the commons, there is no market or future. If every resource is commodified, if every square inch of real estate is subjected to speculative forces, if every calorie of every urbanite is used to simply meet bread and board, then we seal off the future. Without commons, there’s no room for people to maneuver, there’s no space for change, and no space for life. The future is literally born out of commons."
Here are a few excerpts from Carlsson's interview with Harvey. Consider these passages a tease designed to get you to wander over to Shareable to read the entire thing.