Practicing solidarities trough urban regeneration. A critical analysis of an innovative urban regeneration and refugees welcoming project in the city of Bologna
University Of Bologna, Italy
Urban areas face multiple and interconnected challenges related especially to employment, migration, demography and environmental crisis. As for migration, it has to be underlined that flows are ever more increasing all cross Europe, putting under pressure mainly Mediterranean countries, such as Italy, which are geographically more exposed to such flows.
This trend requires a new systemic and structural approach able to go beyond the current reception model, quite often scarcely integrated in the urban context, sometimes creating new ghettos and urban social conflicts between local inhabitants and newcomers immigrants.
European Union set up programme called UIA (Urban Innovation Action), an Initiative that provides urban areas throughout Europe with resources to test new and unproven solutions to address urban challenges.
The municipality of Bologna has been selected among others for its project “S.A.L.U.S. ‘W’ SPACE - Sustainable Accessible Liveable Usable Social space for intercultural Wellbeing, Welfare and Welcoming”.
The project consists of a requalification of a dismissed building and the surrounding area to create a reception center, and it’s based on the following main milestones: urban regeneration, social innovation and active participation of the various urban stakeholders - migrants, civil society, social enterprises, and public institutions as well. In this framework our contribution, as researchers of Ces.Co.Com (University of Bologna), involved the project UIA, consists, of a critical analysis of the participatory process, implemented according to the action- research principles, featuring the first part of the project, thus providing some insights on the emerging integrated approach and urban social innovation process.
Rethinking Gentrification-Gender Nexus
University of Leicester, United Kingdom
Gentrification _'the transformation of space for more affluent users' as defined by Hackworth (2002, p. 815) _ refers to a changing class composition. Yet, gentrification is also a gendered process (Bondi 1991). It alters the ways places are gendered and by doing so it reflects and affects the ways gender is constructed and experienced. The ways places are gendered as well as changes in gender notions also affect the occurrence of gentrification. Despite the expanding literature on gentrification, our knowledge on its relation to gender constitution is limited.
In this paper, I present a critical review of the existing literature pinpointing the gaps in our knowledge regarding gentrification-gender nexus. I call for a comparative and intersectional approach to investigate gendered geographies of gentrification. I conclude by underlining the need for a feminist engagement with knowledge production about gentrification as well as for feminist praxis to contest gendered inequalities and dispossessions involved in gentrifications. This conclusion is totally in line with Peake's argument (2016) that urban theory in the twenty first century still lacks the knowledge of and inspirations from feminist theory and praxis. Inserting a feminist understanding of gender and the urban (in relation to rural) and undertaking the complexity of gender (putting its relation to class, race/ethnicity, sexuality, age etc.) in our analysis of gentrification will not only enhance our understanding of gentrification as gender serves as a critical tool to grasp and theorize on inequalities involved in production of space. Such a perspective also will help eliminate the disciplinary boundaries between urban and gender/feminist studies.
An Aspect of Change in 2017: Gentrification and Lansbury Five Decades On
Newcastle University, United Kingdom
Within 'London: Aspects of Change', the 1964 book which achieved widespread fame for containing the first published use of the word “gentrification”, there is a far less-cited chapter titled ‘A Profile of Lansbury’, which is an account of a long-term study by Ruth Glass and John Westergaard of the residents and dwellings of the Lansbury Estate and Chrisp Street Market in Poplar, east London. The estate and market had been built for the 1951 Festival of Britain and was the showpiece exhibit of a new philosophy of how to improve living conditions for the poorest residents of London. However, following decades of divestment in council properties, and the transfer of stock from councils to “Registered Social Landlords”, today the Lansbury Estate and Chrisp Street Market are managed by the Housing Association Poplar HARCA. They currently propose a complete redevelopment of the site, with eventual plans to sell off the remaining original Festival structures and planned newbuilds almost entirely at rates far beyond the means of the residents that these estates were originally supposed to provide homes for. Based on my on-going doctoral study, this paper considers the irony of the gentrification which is first highlighted in 'London: Aspects of Change' spreading to an example in the same book of the new plan of housing for the poor in the city, and also delivers an account of the processes which have seen these utopian ideas of housing disappear, while speculating what the future may hold for current residents facing displacement.
Mobilization(s) against gentrification in Lisbon: mapping discourse and action
CICS.NOVA, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
Lisbon, March 2016: as tourist numbers continue to grow, MacDonald’s announces the opening of a new restaurant in the historical city centre. Around the same time, the nightclub Jamaica and two other longstanding downtown nightlife venues announce that their closure and replacement with a 5-star hotel. These announcements spark a chain of reactions: blog posts, opinion pieces, webpages and profiles advocating for the preservation of Lisbon’s authenticity and describing a city cracking under tourist pressure, a night vigil for the nightclubs, a petition to prevent the opening of the restaurant. June 2016. A group of citizens organizes a debate focusing on tourism and resident displacement, and around 400 people show up. Tourism, and gentrification read as its consequence, become increasingly part of everyday conversations, of news in the mainstream media and debates in the associative, cultural and academic universes.
These are only a few examples. Since the beginning of 2016, different and contradictory interests and perspectives about the present and the future of Lisbon’s historical centre have surfaced to the public sphere. Diverse ways of acting and voicing demands have risen.
Recent literature advocates making resistance to gentrification an explicit object of study (Brown, 2016) and exploring how people fight for their right to place in the gentrifying city (Slater, 2008) as an interesting direction for gentrification scholarship. In this paper I identify several actors/collectives that have been mobilising around these issues. Analysing interview and participant observation materials, I seek to make sense of their discourses and actions and of the different city visions underneath.