Suburbs according to Reclús

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The suburbs, according to the anarchist geographer Elisée Reclús (1830-1905), are not places of exclusion in which are confined those who can’t afford to live in the city center. On the contrary, the margins, the periphery, were for him the ideal spaces to develop ways of life closer to nature, without losing the relationship with the hustle and bustle of the city (Reclús had been involved in Paris Commune), but out of the insane density of the metropolis. Reclús lived the last half of his adult life in the suburbs, claiming the last urban fringes as places that permit to break the gap between nature and the city; a central problem for the geographers and urbanists of his time, especially the ecologists and anarchists (Patrick Geddes, Lewis Mumford and, in Catalonia, Cebrià de Montoliu). More info at, at libcom, at recollectionbooks.

  • José Luís OYÓN (2012) The houses of Reclús. Toward a fusion of nature and the city. Scripta Nova, to be published soon [PDF]
  • Interview with José Luís Oyón about Reclús and  nomadism [in youtube], by produccionesnomades
  • Two books by Reclús online: “Evolution, revolution and anarchism” [PDF] and “The stream” [PDF in spanish]
  • Eduard MASJUAN La ecología humana en el anarquismo ibérico. Urbanismo “orgánico” y ecológico, neomalthusianismo y naturismo social. For consultation here.