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Capital City
by Samuel Stein

Urban planners are encouraged to make interventions that only raise land and property values—even when they’re trying to do something entirely different. This contradiction is at the heart of what author Samuel Stein calls the real estate state.

About the book

Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State

'Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State' book cover

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Samuel Stein
March 2019

Samuel Stein is a PhD candidate in geography at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and the author of Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State (Verso, 2019). His academic work has been published in The Journal of Urban Affairs, International Planning Studies, New Labor Forum, and Metropolitics, and his popular writing has appeared in The Guardian, Jacobin Magazine, The Village Voice (RIP), and many other publications.

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Samuel Stein recommends

Displacement, Revolution, and the New Urban Condition: Theories and Case Studies

Ipsita Chatterjee

In this book on gentrification in the Indian city of Ahmedabad, geographer Ipsita Chatterjee presents a theory of gentrification that is profound, original, and clarifying. In short: gentrification is the way in which capital alienates residents from the spaces they built and maintained, in a process directly analogous to the way capital alienates workers from the products of their labor on the job.

Planning the Capitalist City: The Colonial Era to the 1920s

Richard Fogelsong

Fogelsong’s multi-century history is a deep dive into the contradictions of capitalist urban planning, a process that is simultaneously designed to secure private accumulation, public health and safety, and state power. These elements do not easily mix. While others have presented idealized views of planners as consensus-builders, Fogelsong dwells in the conflicts that animate urban history and highlights the ways the capitalist state has adapted to manage them.