“Urbanists can never afford to be apolitical.”

Urbanists Can Never Afford to be Apolitical: An Interview with Nezar AlSayyad on Urbanization in the Middle East.

I think one of the things we should certainly be looking at, something which is really important is the use of space in social movements, in political revolt, the use of space to send messages or to bring about a degree of political and social participation, the use of space to create community action, consensus, and to engage in different forms of decision making.

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That is what I think we – as scholars of urbanism – should be concentrating on: the spatial aspects of that phenomenon. As scholars of the Middle East, we need to concentrate on its social and political aspects. Urbanists, as you probably know from my position, can never afford to be apolitical. In a sense, they are the ones who have to make the connections.

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