Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
RN37_02a_P: Reinventing the City: Urban Resilience and Participation Processes
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Patrícia Pereira, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Location: PC.6.30
PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences 136 Syggrou Avenue 17671 Athens, Greece Building: C, Level: 6.

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Hidden islands in the city: urban exclusions and sociabilities from a community intervention project of arts and culture in the “islands” of Porto, Portugal

Lígia Ferro

University of Porto; CIES-IUL, University Institute of Lisbon, ISCTE-IUL; FCT

The islands are a specific housing typology spread in Porto especially in the second half of the XIX century. Its morphological feature is highly connected with the city of Porto structure and is very different from the housing settings created for the working class during the explosion of industrialisation all over Europe. This housing typology persisted across time and space, as the poverty persisted in the city as well. A big number of "islands" is located in the city center. So the access to the city (places and services), or the “right to the city” as Lefebvre stated, is valued by the people of the “islands” as the space they occupy in the urban map provides them an “urban capital” that they do not want to drop.

Starting from the results of an evaluation process of an arts and culture community based project, “Portraits of the Islands”, carried out in the city of Porto, two dimensions will be explored. Firstly, the possibilities of urban ethnography as an evaluation tool in the context of the city will be discussed. Secondly, the results of the community based project will be highlighted, focusing the concept of “island”, including the social representations on the social and spatial relations established between the islands and the city of Porto (closeness and/or openness), the developed work of involvement of the islands’ inhabitants through the arts, its relevance and effect on vicinity sociabilities in the context of an urban requalification process. Participatory photography and community theatre were used to grasp the urban exclusions, the memories, the feelings of belonging and the sociabilities involved in the daily construction of these urban spaces, promoting simultaneously urban participation processes.

(Re-)making the city in, against and beyond ‘austerity urbanism’: Self-management and social solidarity initiatives in Greece.

Lazaros Karaliotas1, Konstantinos Roussos2

1School of Environment, Education and Development,Hallsworth Research Fellow,University of Manchester, United Kingdom; 2Department of Government, University of Essex, United Kingdom

Everyday life in Greek cities is undergoing profound transformations in the midst of the so-called “Greek crisis”. The repercussions of six years of dogmatic neoliberal austerity policies mark the urban landscape through multiple lines of exclusion and precarity. While these policies and their implications have been widely discussed and criticized, however, relatively less attention has been paid on the emancipatory everyday politics unfolding in Greek cities. From makeshift markets ‘without middlemen’, through social solidarity health clinics, to co-operatives and self-managed workplaces, a multitude of urban socio-spatial experiments contest ‘austerity urbanism’ and trace alternative ways of collectively organising urban life. While decidedly localized, they articulate multiple, virtual and material, local and trans-local, links with other initiatives forming multi-faceted solidarity networks. Grounding our analysis on Athens and Thessaloniki, in this paper we seek to explore this incipient re-imagination and re-organization of urban everyday life through participatory collective action. We argue that such grassroots ventures and initiatives are (re-)making a city of solidarity and emancipation in, against and beyond the austere city. Drawing from a reading of politics as a process of political subjectification that unfolds in and through the opening of spaces, we explore the solidarities that are forged in and through these novel forms of collective action and trace the transformative dynamics that they foreground. In parallel, we unpack some of the challenges and limitations they face in moving beyond the dominant ordering of the urban.

People Resists Against Capitalistic Interventions: A Sociological Review of an Urban Movement in Ekbatan, Tehran, Iran

Hossein Imani Jajarmi

University of Tehran, Iran, Islamic Republic of

Ekbatan town was one of mass housing projects that planned and developed by Iranian, American and European companies as a joint-venture project for nearly 70000 inhabitants during 1960’s after first Tehran development plan was implemented in 1968. The development of housing towns was a part of policy response to rapid urbanization problems such as informal settlement, mass immigration from rural areas to urban centers and traffic jams that gradually appeared in the same decade. Ekbatan had a peaceful life until the first half of 2000’s and was one of favorite places for middle class people of Tehran for its modern apartments and culture. Unfortunately the policies of municipality of Tehran for commodification of city and put price for breaking the urban regulations changed the Ekbatan forever. The municipality replaced the land use of a 19.5 hectare land from green space to commercial and erected a Mega Mall, it allowed to build a private hospital in a land that was allocated for a public hospital. These interventions shocked ordinary people of the town and gradually they shaped a kind of resistance against municipal interventions. This article wants to study the objection and resistance of Ekbatan ordinary people and tries to answer three main questions:

• How ordinary people changed their usual life and established collective actions for common goals?

• What are the reasons and specifics of those actions?

• What are the obstacles and complications for urban movements?

Key Words: Urban Movement, Municipal Intervention, Capitalism, Mega Mall, Tehran-Iran

Multigenerational (co)housing between urban governance and self-empowerment: Intergenerational community building and solidarity

David Scheller, Susan Schroeder

University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, Germany

The demographic shift towards an increasingly aging society in the global north has become a governance problem. The breakdown of traditional family networks has produced societies of individualized, fragmented and isolated subjects. In this ‘caring crisis‘ the elderly are particularly precarious and under threat of falling between the cracks of society. Accordingly, multigenerational cohousing has become a promising model to solve these problems, especially in the socially condensed urban realm.

Our paper will present preliminary findings from a participatory action research project: ‘Multigenerational cohousing in high-rise buildings’. Conducted in Potsdam and Frankfurt (Oder), Germany, the project began in May 2016 and will conclude in April 2019. We will draw on qualitative research, involving interviews data and focus groups, to examine intergenerational community building and solidarity.

From a governmentality perspective of urban governance, we compare the capacities of self-empowerment and solidarity in a self-organized house project and a high-rise building owned by a communal housing company. The questions addressed are: How are intergenerational communities discussed and organized from various perspectives? What and who is addressed by the concept of multigenerational cohousing? Who is excluded? Which aspects of multigenerational cohousing could be interpreted as solidaric subjectivities and sociabilities?

Themes identified include: the exclusiveness of multigenerational cohousing; networks of mutual support; (self-)governance of multigenerational cohousing; and, the production of heterotrophic common spaces. We argue that open common ‘spaces of encounter’ are crucial to self-empowerment, intergenerational community building and solidarity in both self-organized house projects and high-rise buildings. However, the specific possibilities and constraints encountered are shaped by the property forms, the planning processes and the engagement of residents.

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