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Urban Peripheralizations and Centrifugality

  • MIT – 9-451 Cambridge, MA 02139 (map)

WHEN: Tuesday, October 16, 2018, 12:30-2pm

WHERE: MIT Building 9, Room 9-451


This talk is an investigation into urban peripheralizations: trying to understand the processes we are witnessing in cities across the globe as working class, poor and racialized residents are being displaced out of city cores to peripheries where social marginalization is exacerbated by physical isolation.

My research is primarily informed by my day-to-day work running a project with newcomer teens in the deep suburbs of Vancouver BC, and the ongoing gentrifications of inner-core neighbourhoods I know and love, most especially my own. 

I am working to find the right analytical vocabularies to describe these processes: gentrification, displacement, dispossession, expulsion, banishment, resegregation, centrifugality ... and am interested in linking these question to a larger land politics and questions of neo-liberal restructuring, ownership and sovereignty: who gets to make what decisions for what land?


Matt lives and works in East Vancouver on səlil'wətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) territory, with his partner and daughters.  He is the co-director of Solid State Industries, has founded and directed  many other community projects and continues to lecture globally. Matt's books and articles have been published on all six continents and translated into thirteen languages. His most recent books are What a City is For: Remaking the Politics of Displacement (MIT Press, 2016) and Global Warming and the Sweetness of Life (MIT, 2018, with Am Johal and Joe Sacco). Please see for more.