A critical approach to the impact of urbanization of capital on public spaces in the city

Document Type : Research Paper


1 geography and urban planning- Faculty of Planning and Environmental Sciences- tabriz university

2 Department urban planning- Faculty of geography and environment sciences- Tabriz university- tabriz- Iran

3 Faculty of Earth Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran


Introduction: Today, cities are the platform for many role-plays in the world, and day by day, the urban space is undergoing many changes and transformations. Since the 1980s, urban spaces have become a place for capital and capitalist systems to play a role, affecting various aspects of human life. According to Lefebvre, space has become a place for social conflict in which the main actors are the active political economy in these areas. Different approaches have been taken to the impact of urban spaces, which some see as the result of a new form of capitalism. Harvey sees space as an inseparable element. space needs capital for achieving development and capital to accumulate space to survive. Others see space as the source of market freedom and economic competition and capital. It leads to the stimulation of competition among urban spaces and considers space as an object and a tradable commodity, and another group considers the development and evolution of urban space as a result of technology, political, economic conditions. It is not society that is society itself and it cannot be separated. The capitalist system has three main characteristics; The freedom of economic competition, the pursuit of profit through democracy and mass consumption, as well as the freedom of choice of consumers, which have confronted the urban space with many institutional, political, and physical changes. Also, this system has faced the phenomenon of economic accumulation and has led to the transition of the investment process from industry to urban real estate and urban centers and public spaces to the center of social consumption in various areas such as sanitation services, education, housing, The impact of this system on public spaces is also very clear; Spaces where access and presence of all are possible regardless of social characteristics such as class differences, gender, race, age, etc.; Spaces that produce a sense of belonging, identity, and the true meaning of the right to the city have been transformed into public spaces with diverse but inappropriate role-playing for human and social action and reactions. Spaces have been taken away. Today, these spaces have become places for decision-making, wealth, and power, and have pushed urban residents to the margins, and capitalism, in its transition to urbanization has transformed public spaces into commodities, private, multifunctional, isolated and It has formed a class, controlled and secure, with a low degree of democracy and the emergence of consumer products. In this formality, the role of governments should not be overlooked. In the past, governments monopolized the exercise of power and the payment of quasi-tribute and provided order and security, but the capitalist system changed the role of government in the form of the nation-state. have given. Governments, while having relative autonomy, are closely linked to the flow of capital and somehow support the survival of the capitalist system and the cycle of capital accumulation. In the field of economic affairs and issues of spatial empowerment of capital and capitalists, and check and support the principles of public spaces. Of course, globalization to some extent has led governments to try to link cities and different spaces with this global phenomenon and benefit from its positive economic and political effects regardless of social and cultural consequences. Today, public spaces due to the neglect of institutions Public and governmental have lost an important part of their historical nature and identity, which originated from the social and political actions of its inhabitants, and have become places solely for the sake of greater profit and rent and monopoly. Also, such spaces, unlike in the past, are not accessible to all sections of society, and an important part of urban society is gradually pushed from the public spaces of the city to the outskirts of cities and the city is occupied by affluent and upper classes of society. And will take on a variety of maps. This consequence of the urbanization of capital is exactly the opposite of the concept of the right to the city, and advocacy approaches to capital and accumulation have led to the exorbitant social and geographical costs of capital performance for the lower classes of urban society.

Methodology: This the study, with a critical view on the impact of the capitalist system and its second cycle, or in other words, the transfer of capital accumulation from the first cycle (industrial production) to the second cycle of capital accumulation (urban real estate), intends to study the effect by documentary and library methods. Capitalization and the flow of accumulation on the public spaces of cities. The findings of this study, which focuses on this issue, show that in In recent decades, public spaces in the city, which were before a place for social and civic activities, under the influence of the spatial performance of capital in controlling changing public spaces in They are their own identity and this has caused these public spaces to become more and more out of their public function and to become neighborhoods that give profit for the owners of capital and move the majority of urban residents to the outskirts.

Results and discussion: Thus, the urban public space is a scene in which the story of collective life unfolds, and in this space, there is an opportunity for some social boundaries to be broken and unplanned confrontations to occur and for people to communicate in the new social environment and the capitalist system. These spaces will inject civic life into the body of the city by facilitating the flow of citizenship through the sense of human belonging to the environment (space made physically) and to society (by facilitating human interactions with each other).

Conclusion: Therefore capitalist system and accumulation cycle have undergone many changes and transformations


Main Subjects

Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 23 December 2021
  • Receive Date: 01 August 2021
  • Revise Date: 18 December 2021
  • Accept Date: 23 December 2021
  • First Publish Date: 23 December 2021