Jamie Peck: Art, Activism, and the City

Jamies Peck 2013 lecture, “Spaces of Contestation: Art, Activism, and the City,” at Simon Fraser University. In this lecture Dr. Peck defines Neoliberalism and its role in contemporary urbanism. Neoliberalism being a Post-WWII economical and social alternative to the the welfare state, which argues for market privatization, “small”-government, deregulation, and free-market policy.  Examples he use include the decline of union-ship in  New York and the rise of Margaret Thatcher’s conservative party movement in Manchester.

As well Peck offers critique to Richard Florida’s creative cities theory. This critiques paints Richard Florida as the “sells man” of the creative class toward cities urban development policy. He furthers the critique in Florida’s class theory, in that it argues a too vague hierarchal model which creates a division of exclusivity for the creative-class core and creative professionals as defined by Florida. Many global cities now offer some form of monocultural template of creative policy to attract the creative class because of Florida’s theory.  Peck sees this as a sort of, “jumping the gun” by policy makers and city developers, as well as a “hipsterization” of cities, ultimately leading to gentrification.

Watch the full lecture here:



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