Margaret Rhodes – Voluntary Ghettos: A Radical Idea For Reclaiming Urban Space

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French architect Stéphane Malka lives in Paris, where climbing real estate prices are pushing people further outside the city and leading to social inequality. STÉPHANE MALKA ARCHITECTUR December 2014. What do Burning Man, Israeli kibbutzim, and neighborhood block parties have in common? “They are fascinating examples of how people can appropriate a territory for themselves and reclaim it,” says architect Stéphane Malka, in response to his own question. “It’s the idealistic essence of the society.”

Malka lives in Paris, a city that, like New York and San Francisco, faces growing inequality created by climbing real estate prices. So as Malka sees it, Parisians need a way to “reclaim” the city. His idea is a modular micro-city consisting of rooms that attach to scaffolding built around existing infrastructure, like barnacles clinging to a ship.He calls it the P9 Mobile-Ghetto, and has imagined them here hanging off the side of the Pont Neuf bridge in Paris.

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