Saskia Sassen

Tue, Sep 11, 2018    1:15pm

Who Owns the City?
Saskia Sassen
Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and Member, The Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University

This presentation engages some of the commonly used markers to identify the city and its transformations. Sassen argues that these markers are losing traction on some of the complex transformations taking place. These transformations as of now account for a small portion of major urban centers (.e.g. central Manhattan, central London, and another thirty such major centers.) The core dynamic in play is the financializing of buildings. This financializing should be distinguished from the familiar notion that dirty capital cleanses itself via acquiring or building buildings. These more familiar practices continue to happen throughout the world, as does the familiar term gentrification. The financializing Sassen focuses on must be distinguished from these more familiar long-standing practices.

The Lectures in Planning Series (LiPS) is an initiative of the Urban Planning program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

All lectures are free and open to the public. For more information or to make program suggestions, email

Photograph: Bloomberg via Getty Images

This website uses cookies as well as similar tools and technologies to understand visitors' experiences. By continuing to use this website, you consent to Columbia University's usage of cookies and similar technologies, in accordance with the Columbia University Website Cookie Notice.