Urban Emptiness and the Pandemic


Cities After… has the podcast Urban Emptiness and the Pandemic.

In the first episode, Prof. Robles-Duran explores the urban shifts surrounding the dramatic rise of commercial and residential vacancies during the global pandemic.


If you let this episode open your mind, all sorts of possibilities become possible.

Right now the Federal Reserve Bank is using its money creation powers to finance the creation of empty space in our cities by buying up bonds of the real estate investors. If we could harness this power of the government entity which is the Federal Reserve Bank to benefit society instead of using this power to enrich the already wealthy, we could make better lives for millions, if not billions, of people.

All this time I have been focused my thinking about the way The Federal Reserve Bank is pumping up the stock market by helping to finance stock buybacks. I had not focused any attention on how the FED is pumping up the real estate market. The people who have to pay the rents for the inflation in the housing markets are suffering. The people who are being evicted so that the rents can stay high are also suffering.

Think about how all this investment in real estate fails to lower rents, but actually finances rent increases. This is not the way we have been told that the “free market” works. I leave it to you to listen to this podcast to ponder this question.

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