An exhibition by award-winning photographer Tina Remiz, showcasing the daily lives of street vendors and market traders in Zambia struggling for their right to work in the city

What is the Right to the City?

The Right to the City means:

  • Buildings are no longer vacant whilst tens of thousands of people are left homeless
  • Everyone can decide how our community, including our schools, hospitals and transport systems, are run and developed
  • All of us have the opportunity to live in housing that is affordable, secure and that we control regardless of tenure

With more than one in two people living in cities around the world, people, not profit, must have democratic control over our cities. We need the Right to the City.

The Right to the City is defined by David Harvey as:

"far more than the individual liberty to access urban resources: it is a right to change ourselves by changing the city. It is, moreover, a common rather than an individual right since this transformation inevitably depends upon the exercise of a collective power to reshape the processes of urbanization. The freedom to make and remake our cities and ourselves is, I want to argue, one of the most precious yet most neglected of our human rights."

At its heart, the Right to the City is more than just improving people’s neighbourhoods and housing, or improving the city and its surroundings. It is about democratic control over the city, with the right to access, occupy and use urban space.

In the UK people are claiming their Right to the City by resisting ‘bedroom tax’ and benefit caps, whilst in South Africa shack dwellers are claiming their Right to the City by demanding services and housing.

To find out more about struggles around the world claiming their Right to the City and how to claim your Right to the City, download our free booklet.

» Download our Right to the City leaflet here