With the arrival of the crisis—a crisis of gentriﬁcation among other things—there is an opening for the development of a coherent, positive vision of city life. In intellectual and activist circles, this vision has already begun to crystallize around a slogan borrowed from Henri Lefebvre: le droit de la ville, or the right to the city. For if our civilization has a future, it lies in the city—the only form of habitation that can sustain a global population that would otherwise overrun the land—and it is a future to which everyone must have a right. This is also the right to produce the city: to be the equal of every urban citizen, equally responsible for and capable of making and sharing urban space. Students at Berkeley once claimed People's Park in the name of this right; today, organizers halt evictions, help squatters to claim foreclosed homes, and lobby for expanded public housing. And yet, truth be told, the right to the city remains a somewhat vague slogan, whose more precise meaning we will also have to build. For the moment, its signal utility is to reclaim urban life for politics.... The gentriﬁers now have the opportunity to recognize themselves as what they are—the dominated members of a dominant class—with the power to ally with the displaced.
(Thanks to Steve M. for the link.)