News & Events

CANCELLED: Cosmopolis lunch seminar with P.Saberi (VUB): Mapping and Designing out the 'Paris problem' in Toronto: A Lefebvrian critique of area-based housing redevelopment policy

19 April 2018 , 12.00-13.30h VUB: Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Building F, Room F 4.66

Speaker: Parastou Saberi, Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Parastou's research sits at the intersection of urban and political geography, critical security studies, and anti-colonial debates. Her work is influenced by the insights of Henri Lefebvre, Antonio Gramsci, Nicos Poulantzas, Frantz Fanon, Himani Bannerji, and Mark Neocleous. Currently, Parastou looks at the geopolitical dimensions of urban politics of security and development in Western metropolitan centres. This project is a unique intervention that brings together debates in international relations with those in urban geography and anti-colonial debates to better understand the ways in which urban policy simultaneously produces and aims to pacify ‘problem’ populations and space. Parastou has done extensive research on the racialized and territorialized dimensions of place-based policies of social development, housing and policing, along with the rise on hard-Right populism in Toronto, Canada. She has also done work on the relational formation of colonial urbanism and French colonial pacification strategies in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in North Africa. Parastou's postdoctoral research looks at the contexts of the United Kingdom and Belgium. It examines relations between urban policy and the racialized and territorialized dimensions of security at the international, national and urban scales, as well as the ways state interventions have alleviated or motivated racial segregation and extremist ideologies (far-Right and Islamist). In engaging with the multi-scalar dimensions of development and security politics that have deeply shaped the reality of our urban present, her work is invested in envisioning urban policy as a democratic tool of citizenship, one that is essential for a cosmopolitan urban future.