Cities accumulate capital, people, aspirations, and power. But, whose power? Whose aspirations? How can we find in the city a place of possibility? Laura Flanders introduces TNI's Transformative Cities programme in Amsterdam during June 2018.
Over several sunny days in June 2018, a diverse group of 60 activists and researchers from 30 countries convened for a multi-day meeting to discuss the collective building of post-capitalist futures. The meeting provided the opportunity for a rich exchange of perspectives and experiences, as well as deep discussion and debate. The goal of the meeting was not to achieve consensus both an impossible and unnecessary endeavour but rather to stimulate mutual learning, challenge one another and advance analyses.
The rise of the right and the growing difficulties faced by national progressive projects, including the apparent end of the cycle of left governments in Latin America and the challenges encountered by the Syriza-led administration in Greece, brings the issue of strategy into central focus. The election of Donald Trump, a right-wing populist, as the US President, combined with the resurgence of extreme-right forces in Europe, makes the rethinking and renewal of emancipatory politics that more urgent.
Experiences and experiments in Spain, Brazil, Istanbul and other cities suggest that a transnational municipalism, based on concepts of an open source city (free online tools and active citizen participation), has the potential to regenerate democracy and build a geopolitics of the commons against neoliberalism.