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Throughout Brooklyn, regular people are fighting off the negative dynamics of urban experience, including uneven development, speculative gentrification, displacement, and police brutality long seen in global cities. Yet, little of the global cities literature considers the ways local actors impact global forces shaping world cities. Instead, observers of globalization suggest local actors have been relegated the sidelines as passive spectators of larger social and economic forces. Many wonder, is there a space for agency in global cities? Can regular people shape the dynamics of life in cities? For many, the answer is clearly affirmative. Throughout the borough of Brooklyn, people are coping with the underside of globalization by creating viable alternatives. Could studying the Brooklyn experience offer some insight into efforts to cope with globalization? Throughout six case studies - on rezoning, eviction defense, a battle against a big box chain store, for a bike lane, a local business, and against police brutality- Brooklyn is viewed as a space which contends with the forces impacting globalization and uneven development in surprising and innovative ways.


This work was originally published in Theory in Action.



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