Mission & History

Right to the City (RTTC) emerged in 2007 as a unified response to gentrification and a call to halt the displacement of low-income people, people of color, marginalized LGBTQ communities, and youths of color from their historic urban neighborhoods. We are a national alliance of racial, economic and environmental justice organizations.

Through shared principles and a common frame and theory of change, RTTC is building a national movement for racial justice, urban justice, human rights, and democracy.

RTTC seeks to create regional and national impacts in the fields of housing, human rights, urban land, community development, civic engagement, criminal justice, environmental justice, and more. Right to the City was born out of desire and need by organizers and allies around the country to have a stronger movement for urban justice. But it was also born out of the power of an idea of a new kind of urban politics that asserts that everyone, particularly the disenfranchised, not only has a right to the city, but as inhabitants, have a right to shape it, design it, and operationalize an urban human rights agenda.

In the realm of ideas, a key resource and touchstone is “Le droite à la ville” (Right to the City) a book published in 1968 by French intellectual and philosopher Henri Lefebvre. In the sphere of human rights, this powerful idea was adopted by the World Urban Forum and elaborated into the World Charter of the Right to the City in 2004. Building from this powerful idea, international principles, and forward looking grassroots organizing, the Right to the City Alliance was established in January 2007.

THE RIGHT TO THE CITY PLATFORM

Land for People vs. Land for Speculation

The right to land and housing that is free from market speculation and that serves the interests of community building, sustainable economies, and cultural and political space.

Land Ownership

The right to permanent ownership of urban territories for public use.

Economic Justice

The right of working class communities of color, women, queer and transgender people to an economy that serves their interests

Indigenous Justice

The right of First Nation indigenous people to their ancestral lands that have historical or spiritual significance, regardless of state borders and urban or rural settings.

Environmental Justice

The right to sustainable and healthy neighborhoods & workplaces, healing, quality health care, and reparations for the legacy of toxic abuses such as brown fields, cancer clusters, and superfund sites.

Freedom from Police & State Harassment

The right to safe neighborhoods and protection from police, INS/ICE, and vigilante repression, which has historically targeted communities of color, women, queer and transgender people.

Immigrant Justice

The right of equal access to housing, employment, and public services regardless of race, ethnicity, and immigration status and without the threat of deportation by landlords, ICE, or employers.

Services and Community Institutions

The right of working class communities of color to transportation, infrastructure and services that reflect and support their cultural and social integrity.

Democracy and Participation

The right of community control and decision making over the planning and governance of the cities where we live and work, with full transparency and accountability, including the right to public information without interrogation.

Reparations

The right of working class communities of color to economic reciprocity and restoration from all local, nation and transnational institutions that have exploited and/or displaced the local economy.

Internationalism

The right to support and build solidarity between cities across national boundaries, without state intervention.

Rural Justice

The right of rural people to economically healthy and stable communities that are protected from environmental degradation and economic pressures that force migration to urban areas.