Debate "Beyond economic growth: what alternatives for cities?"
ABOUT THE DEBATE
Contemporary societies are rushing toward a logic of constant crisis. Social, economic, energy, environmental, public health, and both food and military security problems follow one another at a rapid pace, looming over and overlapping one another. In order to solve these problems, a consensus has formed at the international level: it is necessary to promote economic growth in an accelerated way in order to generate the means to finance the solutions. However, a serious possibility has been systematically overlooked: what if the root of these problems is precisely the constant promotion of economic growth? What if economic growth is the problem instead of the solution? What alternatives exist?
Cities are in the front line of this problem. Real estate speculation, urban touristification, social segregation, acceleration of lifestyles, unbridled competition, consumerism and the creation of waste, the domination of public space by the automobile industry, the proliferation of shopping centers and so-called “smart technologies” are some of the ingredients of the recipe that has systematically turned cities into machines that induce economic growth. But are the cities that result from the application of these measures the ones we want to live in? Are these measures part of the problem or part of the solution? What alternatives are there to them?
As part of the launch in Portugal of the book Post-Growth Planning: Cities Beyond the Market Economy, which resulted from a collaboration between the University of Porto, the University of Amsterdam, and multiple other international partners, a debate on this subject will take place, open to public participation.
António Ferreira, Senior Researcher, Centre for Territory, Transport and Environment Research, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto (CITTA)
Kim von Schönfeld, Researcher, Center for Transdisciplinary Research “Culture, Space and Memory”, Faculty of Arts, University of Porto (CITCEM)
Paulo Pinho, Full Professor, CITTA
Fernando Brandão Alves, Associate Professor, CITTA
Free registration, via firstname.lastname@example.org