Refunctioning the Sky

Mike Davis, urban theorist and author of Planet of Slums, thinks Torre de David “is testimony to the acute housing shortage in Caracas, a problem, like crime, that has vexed the Chávez government. Despite official rhetoric, the Bolivarianist regime has undertaken no serious redistribution of wealth in the cities and oil revenues pay for too many other programmes and subsidies to leave room for new housing construction.” He says the building has great potential: “What interests me more about Torre de David is its emergent ecology with small businesses, jerry-rigged services; it makes it an obvious candidate for a ‘green skyscraper’ experiment.”‘

[O]n the contrary of the quasi-totality of the Western countries (one might see the exception with some micro-nations), the 2500 squatters have not been evicted which justifies the proletarian appropriation of a part of capitalism’s structure. The fact that the life conditions in this building are regrettable does not change another fact which is that a speculative territory has been reclaimed and obtained “de facto” by the collectivity.’

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