Constructing Solidarities for a Humane Urbanism


Faranak Miraftab (ed), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Ken Salo (ed), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Efadul Huq (ed), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Atyeh Ashtari (ed), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; David Aristizabal Urrea (ed), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


activism, urban development, housing


Traversing the financial industry’s takeover of shelter and basic services in Chicago and Cape Town, and the movements fighting eviction, displacement and gross urban inequalities in South Africa and the US, the authors of Constructing Solidarities for a Humane Urbanism reveal transnational connections between these conflicts and movements. Even more, they document how activists in those conflicts draw inspiration from and collaborate with one another to achieve their goals and refine strategies for future battles. Based on an event that brought together academics and activists, the approaches described by the authors create alliances across nations and across the interwoven fabrics of racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual identities, as well as between formal and informal political practices. Responding to an urgent need for collaborative reflection and exchange among scholars and activists with experience in transnational social and solidarity movements, Constructing Solidarities is both a record of conversations advancing our understanding of humane urbanisms and a roadmap for those seeking to participate in a global movement for more just approaches to urban development.

Please cite this book using the DOI 10.21900/pww.5


  • What is this publication about?
  • Editorial Team
  • Speaker Biographies
  • Acknowledgements
  • Forging Radical Care
  • Getting Through Collectives
  • Displacement, Racism and Alienation in the Time of Late Capitalism
  • The Movements
    Forging Transnational Solidarities
  • Publication Modules
  • About this Book

Author Biographies

Faranak Miraftab, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

As an urban scholar of globalization her scholarship is situated at the intersection of geography, planning, and feminist studies, using case study and ethnographic methodologies. A native of Iran, Miraftab did her undergraduate studies at the College of Fine Arts at the Tehran University. She graduated with a Master’s degree in Architecture at the Norwegian Institute of Technology in Trondheim and then completed her doctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Over the years her research and teaching has spanned several countries including Chile, Mexico, Canada, Australia, South Africa, the United States and most recently Togo. Her research interest concerns social aspects of urban development and planning. In this broad area, she is interested in the global and local development processes and contingencies involved in the formation of the city and citizens’ struggles to access dignified livelihood — namely how groups disadvantaged by class, gender, race and ethnicity access resources such as shelter, basic services and income.

Ken Salo, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Ken Salo is a veteran anti-apartheid activist and socio-legal scholar who collaborates with subaltern urban movements in Cape Town, Chicago and Fortaleza to negate socio-spatial inequalities of racism, economic exploitation and exclusion through dialogical interactions that promote democratic social relations and participatory public processes.

Efadul Huq, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Efadul Huq is a doctoral student and distinguished fellow in the Dept. of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. In his current research, Huq is exploring urban climate resilience in cities of the global south. He is a poet and artist interested in mixed-media interventions that address urban issues.

Atyeh Ashtari, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Atyeh is a doctoral student in Urban Planning at UIUC. Her research deals with everyday development of urban environment in Iran's poor quarters through gendered practices using feminist social reproduction lens, in particular a radical care approach. Moreover, her studies in architecture, landscape architecture and planning help her see the built environment on a spectrum and realize the potential of the built environment and public space as mediums of change in combating social injustice issues.

David Aristizabal Urrea, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

David is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in sociocultural anthropology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His research examines the relationship between waste infrastructures, environmental discourse and policy, and broader processes of violence and marginalization in Colombia’s cities. David currently assists the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) with the development and coordination of OUR’s course-based research program, the Ethnography of the University Initiative. He also served as Co-President of the Graduate Employees’ Organization Local 63100.



January 14, 2019

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