Urban Citizenship and Right to the City: The Fragmentation of Claims


In this symposium, we explore how urban citizenship is about expressing, if not producing, difference, and how fragmentation of claims affects urban citizenship and right to the city movements with their universal, all-inclusive ideals. Investigating social movements, political participation and conflicting diversities in public space in Tel Aviv and Berlin, we see a trend towards a diversification of interests, a weakening of movements, and even a competition over rights and resources rather than a development of mutual support and solidarities among various groups on the pathway to a livable city. This tension, we argue, deserves attention. Radical urban scholarship and politics need to better understand the historical and place-specific contexts that structure the formation of citizenship claims and the courses that citizenship struggles take. Celebrations of urban citizenship as a more contextualized, community oriented, and bottom-up framework (in comparison to national citizenship) should therefore be complemented by a careful investigation of their fragmented and fragmenting practices.