Posted on: 31st January, 2014
11th February, 2019
Aseem Inam, Professor and Chair in Urban Design, Cardiff University, is also Director of TRULAB Laboratory for Designing Urban Transformation, a pioneering research-based urban practice. He has published numerous professional reports, journal articles, book chapters and books, including ‘Planning for the Unplanned: Recovering from Crises’ (2005), and ‘Designing Urban Transformation’ (2013).
The spatial production of the city in the 21st century is a complex and multifaceted process. What is often missing in singular narratives that of the neoliberal city is a grasp of the rich and nuanced on-the-ground realities that differ in each context. Such is the case of Las Vegas, which continues largely to be dismissed as simply an exemplar of extreme neoliberalism, excessive consumption, inauthentic urbanism, city as theatre, or perpetual transience.
In contradistinction, this presentation makes two arguments: (a) more generally, that Las Vegas is worthy of serious study because even as a city of apparent extremes, it reflects similar phenomena in other 21st century cities, and (b) specifically, that Las Vegas shows how social and political movements like labor unions produce the city in unusual and influential ways. Thus, labor unions simultaneously shape and are shaped by the politicaleconomic context of the American city.