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Housing the Majority | by Columbia GSAPP
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Housing the Majority

Friday, April 10, 2015


Wood Auditorium



In recent decades, debates on slums and the future of urban life have raged. Novelists, filmmakers, academics, cultural institutions, NGOs, foundations, and think tanks from across the political spectrum have offered ways to alternately upgrade, reinforce, preserve, integrate, and learn from these precarious landscapes, highlighting their many complex socio-spatial questions.


In Housing the Majority, scholars, architects, urban planners, artists, and activists gather from global cities with soaring rates of inequality—Cairo, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, New York City, Mumbai, Istanbul, and London—to define the terms of the debate. Moving beyond traditional and quantifiable definitions of informality, the panels focus on politics, representation, governance, and form as entry points to the difficult humanitarian challenges to “housing the majority.”


Organized by Dean Amale Andraos and Studio-X Amman, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Mumbai, and Rio de Janeiro, with support from the Columbia Global Centers


Introduction, 12–12:30pm

Amale Andraos, Dean, Columbia University GSAPP

Safwan Masri, Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development, Columbia University


I. Politics 12:30–2pm


What are slums? Is the term “slums” self-evident? How can it be understood historically, legally, and politically?


Maria Alice Rezende Carvalho, Sociology, PUC-Rio, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro

David Madden, London School of Economics

Claudia Gastrow, University of the Witwatersrand

Response by Reinhold Martin, Columbia University GSAPP, and Mpho Matsipa, Studio-X Johannesburg


Photographs by Justin Lui

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Taken on April 10, 2015