What Capitalism Does to Cities
Capitalism is good in incentivising corporations and money to leave cities and leave them to rot: moving where labour and other costs are cheaper is made easier by various measures that enable this inhale, exhale. Money moves swifly, breathes, but also inhales vacuuming air out of towns and cities. I know that from a personal experience, having grown up next to paper factories in Southern Finland: now places are abandoned, towns shrinking and trying to invent new business models to sustain jobs and life there.
Capitalism however destroys cities also by staying there: breathing “life” into cities is often a process of destruction of other sorts. It pushes the limits of endurance of ecology, animals and humans.
This example is about Istanbul, describing the booming construction industry of the city that is still imagined as one of the major economic centres of the future: “the damage now being done to Istanbul rivals the damage done to Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade. The so-called Latin invaders of 1202 looted Byzantium in the name of religion; today the city is being pillaged in the name of progress and profit.”
Read the full piece “Destroying Istanbul” by Andrew Finkel here.