Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State
Our cities are changing. Global real estate is now a $217 trillion dollar industry, 36 times the value of all the gold ever mined. It makes up 60 percent of the world’s assets, and the most powerful person in the world – the president of the United States – made his name as a landlord and real estate developer. As Samuel Stein makes clear in this tightly argued book, its through seemingly innocuous profession of city planners that we can best understand the transformations underway. Planners provide a window into the practical dynamics of urban change: the way the state uses and is used by organized capital, and the power of landlords and developers at every level of government. But crucially, planners also possess some of the powers we must leverage if we ever wish to reclaim our cities from real estate capital.
“This superbly succinct and incisive book couldn’t be more timely or urgent.”
-Michael Sorkin, author of All Over the Map
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.
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