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19. January 2021 – 12:17

Minsk: Urban Geographer Eugene Kalinouski sentenced 4 years prison

Jan 16, 2021, Eugene Kalinouski, 22y urban geographer, was sentenced FOUR (4!) years of prison because of beat (by) OMOH Belarus police officers. This video explains what has happened.

 

 

Eugene (also transcribed as Yauhen) joined the INURA conference in Warsaw 2018. Eugene now declared political prisoner by VIASNA

THIS IS HOW YOU CAN HELP
Hello everyone!
Firstly, I (Marta) want to say a huge THANK YOU for all your love and support!
Secondly, this is how you can help us from abroad:
1. Financial help
We need money on short-term and long-term needs:
Short-term needs:
-advocate services
-сompensation for so-called “victims”
-food, clothes, books for Eugene in prison
Long-term needs:
When Eugene will be released, sooner or later, he will need some money for a start. I’m not sure that he will continue to work for the start-up he used to work for – it’s the matter of how much time he will spend in prison. So some kind of a personal fond for him is a necessity, e.g he will definitely need such things as:
– psychological help and medical check-up
– new laptop and smartphone [his belongings were confiscated]
and etc
I sorted out two ways of payments from abroad:
1. PAYPAL
As I understand, all you need for payment through PAYPAL is my email. Here it is: martashpinder13@gmail.com
2. Card
Bank account in euros:
PL30 1020 1811 0000 0302 0374 4570
Bank account in dollars:
PL25 1020 1811 0000 0502 0374 4562
Name: Marta Shpindzer

(If you need Marta’s address contact us: contact@inura.org. Marta is Eugene’s partner. We are in contact with her. You can also contribute / donate through INURA)

If there are questions or recommendations, let us know!
2. International organisations
Currently I’m writing the detailed document in English about the trial process (almost done🙂) and I want to send it to the organisations like Amnesty International and etc. If you have any contacts with the organisations like that, please let me know!
3. Contacts
I hope that Eugene will be released sooner than 4 years and we really want to have some options for him when he will be free. Eugene is a great specialist in GIS, urban planning, space syntax (I have his CV, if you are interested)
If you think that you will be able to help us to find the job or the university program for him in the future, please leave me your contact!
That’s it for now. I’ll be grateful for any recommendations!

Marta

3. December 2020 – 12:39

Overcoming the enclosures of urban space with urban commoning

Auni Haapala, Researcher
Athanasios Votsis, Senior researcher
Weather and Climate Change Impact Research, Finnish Meteorological Institute

Originally posted on https://smartland.fi/overcoming-the-enclosures-of-urban-space-with-urban-commoning/ as part of the SmartLand project (Finnish Strategic Research Program)

In the search for more sustainable modes of urban development it is vital to pay attention to the dynamics that ‘enclose’ urban land, infrastructure and public spaces from local citizens, often for the purposes of profit-making and commercial activities. Enabling citizens-led efforts to reclaim commons should be high on the agenda of sustainable urban land use policymaking.

Urban commoning refers to the bottom-up local action increasingly taking place in urban spheres. Self-organized groups of people initiate and maintain community gardens, communal housing, peer-to-peer forums for exchanging help, time and goods, and the use of public places for various purposes from ‘restaurant day’ to demonstrations.

Often the practices of commoning originate as confrontation of the struggles of everyday living, such as unaffordable rents and reduced access to city spaces. In a sense, commoning addresses the different forms of enclosures that limit what can happen in the city by initiating alternative social practices to live and interact in cities (Bresnihan & Byrne 2014; Borch & Kornberger 2016). Bottom-up adaptive responses to urban challenges are increasingly viewed as an essential component of sustainable, resilient societies (UN 2018).

The historical roots of commons and enclosure travel back to the meadows in England; the large-scale privatization of communal pasture lands to private management and ownership. Today’s urban condition and globalized economy has created new forms of enclosures (e.g. Sassen 2014), but the questions over land, resources and their usage remain central.

Forms of enclosures are many. Expansion of Airbnb accommodation — although a great example of a commercialized sharing economy platform — have in many city districts around the globe altered housing markets in such ways that local residents have been forced to migrate whereas flows of tourists have stayed, benefitting the property owner (Hult & Bradley 2017).

Similarly, some effects of climate change mitigation and adaptation policy — e.g. energy efficiency standards for buildings or urban green gentrification — impose unevenly harsh constraints on the right of vulnerable dwellers to socially and economically sustainable public and private spaces (Blok 2020; Anguelovski et al. 2016).

Challenge for cities

The core aim of the Smartland project is to identify and develop suitable land use policies to address the increasing and entwined environmental, economic and social challenges emerging in and from the urban: the production of greenhouse gas emissions, rising housing prices and social segregation.

Approaching the city as a terrain of struggle over commons may make more visible the different forms of enclosure that are in play in the city and limit local people — often first the most disadvantaged groups — to sustain everyday life and wellbeing in their very own urban habitat.

For urban land-use policymakers and practitioners the challenge surrounding urban commons is twofold: to identify and aim to diminish potential future enclosures, and to find ways to enable and facilitate the emergence of urban commoning practices. This requires re-thinking the contemporary city-led land-use policy and planning to go beyond view of local residents as merely ‘participating’. It is acknowledging local citizens as active “makers” and “sharers” of their city (Hult & Bradley 2017).

References

Anquelovski, I., Shi, L., Chu, E., Gallagher, D., Goh, K., Lamb, Z., Reeve, K., Teicher, H. (2016). Equity impacts of urban land use planning for climate adaptation: Critical perspectives from the Global North and South. J. Plan. Educ. Res. 36(3), 333–348.

Blok, A. (2020). Urban green gentrification in an unequal world of climate change. Urban Studies. First published online January 21, 2020.

Borch, Christian, and Martin Kornberger, eds. (2016). Urban Commons: Rethinking the City. 1st ed. London: Routledge.

Bresnihan, P. & Byrne, M. (2014). Escape into the City: Everyday Practices of Commoning and the Production of Urban Space in Dublin. Antipode 47 (1), 1-19.

Hult, A. and Bradley, K. (2017) Planning for Sharing – Providing Infrastructure for Citizens to be Makers and Sharers. Planning Theory & Practice, 18:4, 597-615.

Sassen, S. (2014). Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

United Nations (2018). Sustainable, resilient and inclusive societies – the path towards transformation. Together 2030 written inputs to the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) 2018.

9. July 2019 – 10:05

INURA letter to the City Assembly of Zagreb – Gradskoj skupštini Grada Zagreba

English: INURA letter to the City Assembly of Zagreb

Mi smo skupina međunarodnih sveučilišnih profesora i stručnjaka u području urbanog planiranja i razvoja koja je ove godine posjetila Zagreb u sklopu svoje 29. godišnje konferencije. Posjedujemo stručnost i znanje po pitanju projekata uz obalne pojaseve (tzv. waterfronts) u gradovima poput Londona, Amsterdama, Hamburga, Barcelone, Bostona, New Yorka, Toronta, Vancouvera, Hong Konga, Beograda, Sydneya i Melbourna. Za vrijeme posjeta izrazito nas je zabrinula informacija da bi Zagreb mogao slijediti primjer gradova koji su privatizirali i posljedično uništili svoj obalni pojas kroz projekte tzv. urbane regeneracije slične projektu ‘Zagrebačkog Manhattana’.

Ako Gradska skupština odobri izmjene Generalnog urbanističkog plana koji bi omogućio realizaciju “Zagrebačkog Manhattana”, Zagreb će biti izložen velikoj opasnosti. Širom svijeta
vidjeli smo da predaja zemljišta u ruke međunarodnim investitorima, bez jasno postavljenih demokratskih procedura i uvjeta, obično rezultira izgradnjom građevina koje izvlače vrijednost iz grada, a ne doprinose potrebama tog grada. Takvi projekti uvijek se planiraju i grade na način da pogoduju interesima globalne, mobilne elite, a vode malo ili nimalo računa o potrebama lokalnog stanovništva. Programirani su na način da su odvojeni od grada i imaju vrlo usko i isključivo shvaćanje urbanog života i kulture. Također, imaju minimalnu ili nikakvu obvezu da služe javnom interesu i isključivo su orijentirani na stvaranje profita za investitore. Svjedočili smo mnogim takvim slučajevima u drugim svjetskim gradovima gdje je gradska uprava, nakon što bi žrtvovala vrijedno zemljište, imala malu ili nikakvu proračunsku korist jer su investitori skloni iskorištavanju poreznih olakšica i kreativnom računovodstvu.

Ne postoje istraživanja koja dokazuju da su ovakvi projekti u drugim gradovima rezultirali pozitivnom ekonomskom ili društvenom promjenom. Ne moramo se zagledati daleko: samo 400 km niz istu rijeku možemo vidjeti da sličan projekt u Beogradu nije donio ekonomski razvoj gradu, nije privukao kvalitetne poslove i već se pokazao štetnim za zdravlje i životni standard stanovnika.

Pogotovo zabrinjavajućim u slučaju izmjena Generalnog urbanističkog plana Grada Zagreba smatramo potpuno nepoštivanje mišljenja građana i mnogih stručnih udruženja koji su izrazili svoje protivljenje kršenju formalnih i demokratskih procedura, poput potrebe da se o izmjenama organizira javna rasprava. Također je alarmantna činjenica da se ‘Zagrebački Manhattan’ dogovara iza zatvorenih vrata bez javnosti dostupnih informacija o detaljima projekta ili potpisanom memorandumu o razumijevanju s investitorom te s ciničnim rokom od samo 18 dana za javni poziv investitorima za iskazivanje interesa u realizaciji projekta na površini od preko milijun kvadratnih metara.

Unatoč tome što se razvoj ovog područja pažljivo planirao preko 60 godina, uključujući i recentnu studiju Arhitektonskog fakulteta o Zagrebačkom velesajmu koju je naručio Grad Zagreb, najvažnije odluke o budućnosti ovog područja sada se donose nevjerojatno ishitreno, pri čemu je jedino sigurno da se radi o prijenosu velike količine javnog vlasništva u privatne ruke.

S druge strane, mnogi bi vam gradovi zavidjeli na onome što imate – jedinstveni pojas javne zelene površine uz riječnu obalu koji prolazi središtem grada. Ovakva vrijedna imovina postajat će sve dragocjenija kako se gradovi budu morali sve više prilagođavati rastućim rizicima koje donose klimatske promjene. Zeleni pojas oko rijeke Save već predstavlja zaštitnu mjeru protiv urbanih toplinskih otoka jer stabla i ostala vegetacija hlade grad i doprinose bioraznolikosti. Također, kao javne zelene površine, ova područja doprinose fizičkom i mentalnom zdravlju svih građana koji ih koriste. Njihova iskoristivost u smislu prostora za rekreaciju, biološke i okolišne vrijednosti može se dodatno unaprijediti, no jedino ako grad zadrži vlasništvo i kontrolu nad njima.

Istovremeno, impresionirani smo bogatstvom institucija i civilnog društva koje se razvilo u Zagrebu i koje je zaista neobično i distinktivno obilježje grada, te sukladno tome apeliramo na zastupnike Gradske skupštine da uzmu u obzir postojeću građansku participaciju i prigovore koje su građani iznijeli – naročito više od 14 000 potpisa koji su dosad prikupljeni protiv uništavanja sportsko-rekreacijske zone i realizacije ovog projekta.

Ovim pismom mi, istraživači, stručnjaci i profesori sa sveučilišta u Londonu, Torontu, Amsterdamu, Berlinu, Parizu, Ateni, Zurichu, Melbourneu i mnogim drugim gradovima, apeliramo na zastupnike da odbace predložene izmjene Generalnog urbanističkog plana kojima se omogućuje realizacija projekta ‘Zagrebačkog Manhattana’. Ukoliko dozvolite da se to dogodi, vi ćete kao demokratski izabrani predstavnici svih građana Zagreba izgubiti mogućnost da planirate i razvijate svoj grad. Time ćete grad predati u ruke globalnim investitorima koji ne odgovaraju nikakvom institutu demokracije.

Apeliramo da dopustite građanima, a time i sebi, raspravu o tome na koji način ovaj javni prostor može i dalje služiti cijelom gradu, i da to napravite prije nego se obvežete bilo kakvim investitorima.

Nedjelja, 7. srpnja 2019., Zagreb
INURA Hardturmstr. 261, CH-8005 Zürich, Switzerland,
contact@inura.org

 

10. July 2018 – 15:07

Warsaw – dérive No 72

Now out: A reader on Warsaw has been edited (in English) by the dérive journal and the INURA 2018 conference organisers in Warsaw.

All conference participants were happy to get one of these substantial readers on historical and present urban development.

Orders, Contents and other information: http://www.derive.at

18. January 2018 – 10:49

New Book

Schwarz, A. (2017): Demanding Water. A Sociospatial Approach to Domestic Water Use in Mexico City. Megacities and Global Change, Vol. 22. Stuttgart: Steiner. Orders: http://www.steiner-verlag.de/programm/fachbuch/geographie/reihen/view/titel/61307.html

6. January 2017 – 10:29

NEW Book

Governing Cities through Regions
Canadian and European Perspectives
edited by Roger Keil; Julie-Anne Boudreau; Stefan Kipfer & Pierre Hamel
https://www.wlupress.wlu.ca/Books/G/Governing-Cities-through-Regions

16. December 2016 – 18:48

16-12-16 Open letter to the Senate of Berlin for a just procedure for Andrej Holm, State Secretary of Housing in Berlin

We, the researchers, scholars and members of the International Network for Urban Research and Action, welcome the new Senate of Berlin committing to address a pressing concern of Berliners: the need for affordable housing. Adequate housing provision has become increasingly out of reach for many residents – not only in Berlin. Today, the lack of affordable decent housing, the upgrading of urban centers, displacement pres-sures and homelessness for low-income groups are global phenomena. These are big challenges for cities but research has shown that local governments can make a difference in alleviating the exclusionary ef-fects of market distribution of housing. For this task local governments need to harness the expertise and political will in order to devise and implement new regulations that protect tenants and new investment in fair housing production.

We are therefore gravely concerned about the media-driven political delegitimation campaign towards Dr. Andrej Holm who has been ap-pointed as secretary of state for housing by the Berlin Senate.

This does not appear to be a coincidence. Dr. Holm is an internationally renown scholar who has advanced critical research on housing devel-opments and gentrification. His research has contributed to our understanding of the dynamics of market and government forces at play, and he has advanced urban research by developing instruments for measur-ing and quantifying the effects of gentrification. Furthermore, Dr. Holm stands out prominently as public intellectual who, over the years, has offered his expertise to public and political dialogue and debates – while at the same time not shying back from questioning the prevalent rules of the game that have contributed to segregation and social problemes. Holm has proposed constructive policy reforms to address problems of gentrification and segregation through innovative policies and regulations for the housing market.

If the new Berlin Senate is committed to fulfill its central promise of housing as a basic right for all Berlin residents, it will profit tremen-dously by the critical, committed and progressive thinking Dr. Holm brings to designing and implementing adequate new policy.

The current attacks on Dr. Andrej Holm seek to de-legitimize his role as new secretary of state for housing by highlighting his training with the GDR secret police when he was a teenager. Of course it is a necessary routine procedure to investigate the involvement in detail as a basis for a democratic decisionmaking process. But a fair investigation takes time and there is no evidence that his involvement included activities that harmed anybody. The basic principle of presuming innocence until any deeds are proven must be attained. The current inflammatory media campaign is not conducive for a fair and democratic process of deliberation.

Almost ten years ago, INURA stepped up to protest against accusations against Dr. Holm, which turned out to be completely unfounded. Once again we demand from the political representatives of Berlin govern-ment to provide fair and considerate treatment to evaluate the accusa-tions against Andrej Holm and to withstand preemptive judgement. We cannot allow the premature eviction of critical and progressive voices from the political debate on how to ensure affordable housing for all in Berlin. We encourage all political actors in Berlin to withstand efforts that seek to maintain existing inequalities and to stay the course to achieve more just cities. We know in this work Dr. Holm has an im-portant contribution to offer.

Researchers, Scholars and Members of the International Network for Urban Research and Activism, INURA

15. September 2016 – 18:52

26th INURA Conference held successfully

From September 4-7, 2016 the 26th INURA Conference was held in Bucharest, Romania. Tours and visits, lectures and talks were carefully put together and allowed the participants to get an insight, both, critical and knowledgeable about history and today’s issues of the 7th biggest city in Europe. Spaces of confusion, places of hope were shown and discussed on issues like housing, social justice, traffic, transport, greenspace, participation and administration in a city that had undergone major changes in recent history, especially the end of the Ceausescu-regime era which is still is in every room as an elephant you can not see as one of the local organisers pointed out in the opening evening – in the parliament building, 2nd largest after pentagon.

16. May 2016 – 10:28

Belgrade – absurde activities

Midnight bulldozers clear way for UAE-$$ Belgrade mega-project.
read more http://www.euractiv.com/section/enlargement/news/thugs-destroy-buildings-in-belgrade-while-police-look-the-other-way/

10. May 2016 – 18:16

25 years INURA

Happy Birthday INURA! the International Network for Urban Research and Action was founded 25 years ago, in May 1991, by a group of 21 people setting up the INURA principles in Salecina, Switzerland.

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