Clara Irazábal-Zurita, professor of planning at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, speaks on "The Counter Land Grabbing of the Precariat: Housing Movements and Restorative Justice in Brazil."
Brazil’s precariat (politically organized in national social housing movements) are courageously pressing for a true urban reform in Brazil whose promise has been systematically delayed and subverted. By seizing vacant buildings and underused land, not only are these unsung heroes/heroines confronting neoliberalism in Brazil, but they are also unveiling the impossibility of neoliberalism to deliver socio-spatial justice to the poor. Through a restorative justice practice, the precariat goes beyond critique and show us an alternative project that would allow millions of Brazilians access to decent housing and through the alternative project, the right to the city and opportunity. As these housing experiences demonstrate, restorative justice deserves further exploration as an alternative planning model that combines the strengths of advocacy planning and communicative action while also reducing their drawbacks. This talk reflect is based on team ethnographic and planning studio work.
Clara Irazábal is the director of the Latinx and Latin American studies program and professor of planning in the department of architecture, urban planning and design at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Before joining UMKC in fall 2016, she was the Latin Lab director and associate professor of urban planning in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.
In her research and teaching, Irazábal explores the interaction of culture, politics, and placemaking and its impact on community development and socio-spatial justice in Latin American cities and Latinx and immigrant communities. Irazábal is the author of Urban Governance and City Making in the Americas: Curitiba and Portland (Ashgate, 2005) and the editor of Transbordering Latin Americas: Liminal Places, Cultures, and Powers (T)Here (Routledge 2014); Ordinary Places, Extraordinary Events: Citizenship, Democracy; and Public Space in Latin America (Routledge 2008, 2015). Irazábal has worked as consultant, researcher and/or professor in multiple countries of the Americas, Europe and Asia.