Quotation Haderer, Margarete. 2021. Urban environmental politics meets urban theory. Insights from Lefebvre’s Right to the City. In: Interdisziplinäre Stadtforschung. Herausforderungen und Perspektiven, Hrsg. Raphaela Kogler, Alexander Hamedinger, 189-207. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag.




Two claims are common in current discourses in environmental politics: that cities are key sites of intervention for a shift towards greater sustainability; and that grassroots initiatives in more sustainable everyday practices (food co-ops, urban gardens, sharing initiatives, eco-housing projects) are promising signs of such a shift. Urban theory, especially theory that draws on Lefebvre’s Right to the City, challenges both claims. For one, it delivers an ‘episteme of the urban’ that focuses less – as is commonly the case – on ‘sites’ (cities) than on the planetary processes that underpin the making and re-making of given sites. Second, it challenges the common ‘doxa’ that ‘truly’ transformative grassroots interventions have to operate at a distance from dominant political languages, such as the language of rights. By brining urban theory into conversation with urban environmental politics, this contribution suggests a) that the scope and limits of urban environmental politics heavily hinges on how one conceives of the urban; and b) that the fact that grassroots initiatives in sustainability often remain ‘stuck in the niche’ may have to do with political strategy.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Chapter in edited volume
Language English
Title Urban environmental politics meets urban theory. Insights from Lefebvre’s Right to the City
Title of whole publication Interdisziplinäre Stadtforschung. Herausforderungen und Perspektiven
Editor Raphaela Kogler, Alexander Hamedinger
Page from 189
Page to 207
Location Bielefeld
Publisher Transcript Verlag
Year 2021
Reviewed? N
Open Access N


Haderer, Margarete (Former researcher)
Institute for Social Change and Sustainability IN (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5108 Political theory (Details)
5118 Political science (Details)
5411 Social philosophy (Details)
5425 Environmental sociology (Details)
5611 Urban and regional analysis (Details)
6518 Social history (Details)
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