The Urbanist

Fighting the establishment

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14 January 2016

Episode 222

28 minutes


Photo: Mark Goble

From small businesses to citizen collectives, we discover how championing transformative change from the ground up can be the best way to alter the status quo in our cities. We see how the Ministry of Space is reclaiming public spaces in Belgrade, visit Vienna to find out how ordinary citizens are welcoming refugees and check out a collective in Rio de Janeiro that wants to reshape the politics of the city. Plus: small businesses in London’s West End and the fight against increasing rent prices.

14 January 2016

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Chapter 1

7 minutes


Photo: Predrag Bubalo

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Chapter 1

Belgrade’s Ministry of Space

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Fighting the establishment is more than just a figure of speech in the countries that once made up Yugoslavia. As communism gave way to klepto-capitalism, many urban amenities were ransacked for the personal profit of the well-connected. But over the past five years the Ministry of Space – a collective of architects, artists and urbanists – has battled to reclaim public spaces and reconnect citizens with development decisions.

7 minutes

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Chapter 2

6 minutes


Photo: Roderick Eime

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Chapter 2

Vienna: Wallpaper for refugees

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As more than a million migrants and refugees crossed into Europe in 2015, Austria became one of the top destinations. And while the government in Vienna struggles to cope with the influx, ordinary Austrians have responded with an almost unanimous show of support.

6 minutes

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Chapter 3

7 minutes


Photo: Rodrigo Soldon

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Chapter 3

Rio de Janeiro: reclaiming the city

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With the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics coming later this year, Brazil – in particular Rio de Janeiro – has had its fair share of the global spotlight recently. But Rio’s natural beauty is matched in magnitude by deep social divisions that are rising to the surface. We meet a group of activists that is fighting for equality and hoping to change politics in the city.

7 minutes

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Chapter 4

2 minutes


Photo: Andy Bird

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Chapter 4

London: small businesses unite

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Perhaps one of the biggest concerns in London at the moment is the city’s soaring rental costs for both businesses and housing. We take a tour of the small businesses in the West End area that have decided to unite in the fight against the increasing rent prices in the city.

2 minutes

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