Place, Displacement, & The Politics of Housing

Distinguished Faculty Lecture with Raquel Rolnik

Portrait of Raquel Rolnik
Tuesday, March 31, 7:00pm9:00pm

Urban Warfare: the Colonization of Urban Land and Housing

Raquel Rolnik explores battles over housing rights in cities and suburbs all over the world. In discussing the ways that the commodification of housing has led to social and environmentally devastating housing policies, and how the financial sector with its unaccountable power increasingly underwrites those dynamics, Rolnik specifies some of the most pressing challenges faced by movements and allies that seek to democratize the green city.

Ms. Raquel Rolnik is an architect and an urban planner, with over 30 years of experience in planning and urban land management. She has extensive experience in the implementation and evaluation of housing and urban policies. Based in São Paulo, she is a professor at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of São Paulo and is the author of several books and articles on the urban and housing issues. In her career, she has held various government positions including Director of the Planning Department of the city of São Paulo (1989-1992) and National Secretary for Urban Programs of the Brazilian Ministry of Cities (2003-2007) as well as NGO activities, such as Urban Policy Coordinator of the Polis Institute (1997-2002). She has advised national and local governments on urban policy reform and institutional development as well as acted as a consultant for countries and international cooperation agencies.

In May 2008, at the 7th session of the Human Rights Council, Ms. Raquel Rolnik was appointed UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context. She was the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing until the end of May 2014.

Watch a video recording of the event here