Jordi Borja Sebastià (BISR Visiting Fellow)

Friday, 26 October 2012, 6.00-7.30pm, Room 416, Malet Street (Entrance via Torrington Place), Birkbeck, University of London

Marx (Groucho): “These are my principles and if you don’t like them… well, I have others”

This talk deals with postmodernism as a legitimating tool for urban planning. It offers a critique of its commonly used concepts and public urban policies, providing examples from Spain and Latin America. It also takes issue with the insufficiency of some  ideological critiques that are frequently deployed to contest postmodern urban planning, proposing in the end the right to the city as a preferable critical analytical concept.

This talk will be given in Spanish. It is a collaboration between CILAVS and BISR.

Jordi Borja Sebastià is a geographer and urban planner. He has been engaged with mass-based civic initiatives in Barcelona since the 1960s and was also head of Municipal Policy and Mass Movements in the PSUC (Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia). From 1980 to 1984, he was a member of the Catalan Parliament and, three years later, deputy mayor for Decentralisation and Participation in the Barcelona City Council. He has taught Sociology and Urban Geography at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and at the Technical University of Catalonia as well as in universities abroad, including Paris, Buenos Aires, Mexico and New York. He has also worked as a consultant for some of the main cities of Latin America. He regularly writes for the dailies El País and La Vanguardia and has recently published the following books: Ciudades: una ecuación imposible (Cities: An Impossible Equation, co-edited, 2012), Urbanisme de Barcelona: llums i ombres (Urban Planning in Barcelona: Lights and Shadows), which has appeared in Catalan and Spanish (2010). Notable among his earlier works is La ciudad conquistada (The Conquered City, 2003).