From Wikipedia: The right to the city is an idea and a slogan that was first proposed by Henri Lefebvre in his 1968 book Le Droit à la ville. Lefebvre summarizes the ideas as a “demand…[for] a transformed and renewed access to urban life”. David Harvey described it as follows: The right to the city is far more than the individual liberty to access urban resources: it is a right to change ourselves by changing the city. It is, moreover, a common rather than an individual right since this transformation inevitably depends upon the exercise of a collective power to reshape the processes of urbanization. The freedom to make and remake our cities and ourselves is, I want to argue, one of the most precious yet most neglected of our human rights.
It has been suggested that the phrase has taken on a variety of meanings and Marcelo Lopes de Souza has argued that as the right to the city has become “fashionable these days”, “[t]he price of this has often been the trivialisation and corruption of Lefebvre’s concept” and called for fidelity to the original radical meaning of the idea.
A number of popular movements, such as the shack dwellers’ movement Abahlali baseMjondolo in South Africa, the Right to the City Alliance in the United States of America,Recht auf Stadt, a network of squatters, tenants and artists in Hamburg, and various movements in Asia and Latin America, have incorporated the idea of the right to the city into their struggles.