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The Rentier City: Manchester and the Making of the Neoliberal Metropolis (2024)

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How did Manchester became the poster-child of neoliberal urbanisation, and what can the people that live there do about it?

In cities across the world, gentrification and the housing crisis are facts of life. But how did we get to this point? And is there any way we can fight back?

A good place to begin answering these questions is Manchester, England. Over the last thirty years, corporate developers, rentier capitalists and boosterist politicians have reshaped Manchester in their image, replacing its working-class communities, public spaces and affordable housing with skyscrapers, luxury developments and a private rental market that creates wealth for rentiers and impoverishes everybody else.

The Rentier City traces this story, showing how it fits within the longer history of Manchester. In doing so unveils a larger story of the relationship between capital and our cities, between rentier and rentee, and gives us a blueprint of how fight back against rentier capitalism and take back control of the cities we live in.