DAVID HARVEY ‘REBEL CITIES’
Marxist social geographer David Harvey, in his book “Rebel Cities,” mainly discussed the factors of cities, precariat, and democratic anti-capitalism. He noted that cities are at the center of capital accumulation and are dominated by large financial companies and devel- opers. On the other hand, it is the people who actually make up urban life, and cities can also be the stage for revolutionary politics. He emphasized the importance of resistance to their right of access to the city in order to reconfigure cities in a more fair and social way.
“The important and ever-expanding labor of making and sustaining urban life is increasingly done by inse- cure, often part-time and disorganized low-paid labor. The so-called “precariat” has displaced the traditional “proletariat:’ If there is to be any revolutionary move- ment in our times, at least in our part of the world (as opposed to industrializing China), the problematic and disorganized “precariat” must be reckoned with. How such disparate groups may become self-organized into a revolutionary force is the big political problem. And part of the task is to understand the origins and nature of their cries and demands.”
RIGHT TO THE CITY
Cities have developed in a manner convenient for capi- tal accumulation. As seen in “global cities” and “creative cities,” most developments present visions that are seem- ingly attractive and acceptable to the public. However, these visions are used as a strategy in the competition of development. The development of a city always includes “growth and prosperity,” which is the premise of capital- ism. Mainly financiers and developers who profit from development occupy the discussion table and push de- velopment along with the government. In such a devel- opment process that lacks transparency, citizens’ voices are rarely considered. And the resulting cities further exclude the socially vulnerable, as seen in gentrification. Are these cities for the capitalists, not for the people?
There is also the question of what is the essence of what excluded people demand for cities. Harvey states that the “right to the city” is not only the freedom to change the city more as one wishes, but also the freedom to re- make oneself. He argues that this is one of the most pre- cious and yet most neglected of our human rights.
“The question of what kind of city we want cannot be divorced from the question of what kind of people we want to be, what kinds of social relations we seek, what relations to nature we cherish, what style of life we desire, what aesthetic values we hold.”
In recent years, the “gig economy,” a way of working in which one-time work is ordered via the Internet, has been expanding. Especially food delivery workers, rep- resented by Uber Eats, have no employer and individ- uals can freely obtain work with a single smartphone, and the number of such workers has increased rapidly as demand expands.
However, they also face problems such as harsh working conditions, unstable low wages, and weak safety nets. They are located at the end of the flow of people, goods, and money in the seemingly smartly controlled networked so- ciety, and are subject to unfair labor exploitation.
They can be said to be today’s precariat, living mainly in metropolitan areas, fragmented, disorganized and fluid, having a diverse range of goals and needs. And these characteristics may make it difficult for them to collec- tivize and have a voice in the city. What problems do they face now, what do they want for the city, and what kind of people do they want to change themselves into? Their excluded demands can be an important critique of the problems immanent in urban daily life. And if these workers, now a disparate group, collectively raise their voices, they could be a major force in the remod- eling of the city.
Yatai is a kind of mobile food stall in Japan, that sell Jap- anese traditional foods such as ramen, yakitori, dango, and etc. Yatai have became part of Japanese economic life since Edo Period (1603-1868) and became more popu- lar after World War II. Nowadays, after Tokyo Olympics 1964, some of Yatai disappear because of the Govern- ment Regulations related to the health hygiene issue.
Yatai’s hub is designed in the first floor to respond peo- ple’s behavior in the surroundings, because Ikebukuro is an area in the middle of Tokyo that has a lot of tourists. As an international area, this place can be a great place to introduce Japanese Traditional food to the tourists. Since there are a lot of restaurants near the site, it also a great place for the deliverer to take a rest while. The be- havior of people who walking, talking, resting near the site can be found near the area that become an advan- tage for the site to attract people to come to the space.
Yatai is designed in the outer perimeter of the site and also in the sidewalk to create a connection between in- door and outdoor area. This method can attract more visitor to come to the hub.