Monday, October 1, 2012

Neil Smith: 1954 - 2012

This weekend, CUNY professor, author, and expert on the topic of urban gentrification Neil Smith passed away. He was 58.

As Wikipedia put it, "Smith is credited with convincing theories about the gentrification of the inner city as an economic process propelled by urban land prices and city land speculation — not a cultural preference for living in the city."

Professor Smith was kind enough to be interviewed on this blog last summer. We talked about gentrification, Bloomberg, and today's "total class retake of the central city." His evolving ideas on this important subject, and his impact on future students of the city, will be greatly missed.

Tonight, there will be an informal memorial with "an open mic set up so that those who wish to share their thoughts, read a poem, sing a song, tap dance, chant tribalistic anti-capitalist monosyllables, etc. will have an opportunity to do so. You can also just come and chat and spend a while in a space filled with others struck by this untimely loss."


Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to read this - please know that thoughts are coming all the way from Texas, from a displaced NYC resident who is very much lamenting what's happening to the City's culture. Mr. Smith's work and outspoken life have opened countless eyes to what's occurring, and will continue to do so through the memories so many have of him. Rest In Peace.

Marty Wombacher said...

RIP Neil Smith.

Anonymous said...

Neil is was well known at CUNY, in such areas as Geography, Anthropology and Environmental Psychology. He took a strong political, even Marxist, perspective on urban issues, person/group/environment issues, and was well respected by faculty and students.

Anonymous said...

This really hurts. His was an original voice on what has really happened to our cities.

RIP Mr Smith

JAZ said...

RIP Neil Smith

That was one voice we couldn't afford to lose. I think his writings should be mandatory reading in NYC public schools; it is very important for people to really understand what is being done to this city. It frustrates me to no end how many people seem to not really care. Condolences to his family and friends. This is very very sad.