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Session Overview
RN37_06b: Neighbourhoods and neighbouring as a conceptual and empirical challenge 2
Thursday, 22/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Marta Smagacz-Poziemska, Jagiellonian University
Location: BS.3.20
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Third Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road

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Including Neighbourhood Selection in a Neighbourhood Effects Model

Agata A. Troost, Maarten van Ham, Heleen J. Janssen

Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands

Selection bias has long been at the heart of discussion about neighbourhood effects. To what extent are these effects caused by neighbourhood characteristics, such as positive role models or the quality of local institutions, and to what extent are they just a result of people self-selecting into neighbourhoods based on their preferences, income, and the availability of alternative housing? This paper contributes to better understanding of this issue by modelling people’s preferred types of neighbourhoods and later including them in a neighbourhood effects model predicting individuals’ income. We build upon an earlier article by van Ham, Boschman & Vogel (2018) and aim to improve the analyses by including individuals who moved during five years, not only one year, thereby reducing the underrepresentation of groups who move more rarely; as well as by looking not only at income, but also directly at income change. We compare the models using data from three major Dutch cities: Amsterdam, Utrecht and Rotterdam. Our results show that there is a significant effect of average neighbourhood income on individual income even after controlling for explicitly modelled neighbourhood selection. Still, the effect becomes much smaller while including such controls, which suggests that studies without them could overestimate the size of neighbourhood effects.

Bottom-up Neighborhood Rebranding: Community Building Or Loss Of Place Identity?

Maria Tartari1, Alessandro Gerosa2

1IULM, Italy; 2Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy

In the last decade, the economic crisis has seen the main European cities as the perfect stage for social segregation. Peripheral areas have often been reshaped through uneven urban development processes and that has typically involved the rebranding of the area concerned as a symbolic boundary. European urban policy-makers increasingly utilize urban rebranding as planning tools to foster social change and attract economic capital, imposing a top-down changing of the very identity of a district. In literature, these phenomena have been broadly investigated, though, we have observed that there is a gap about bottom-up place rebranding processes related to outcomes such as gentrification and loss of place identity.

Indeed, the shared sentiment within the academia sheds light mainly on the inclusive nature of bottom-up interventions, focusing on the successful results rather than seeing the big picture. The present work aims to re-think on this debate extending the analysis on the harmful social impacts that bottom-up urban rebranding might have on local hyper-diverse communities. In fact, in such a complex scenario, neighborhood rebranding, even when constituted for the sake of a culture-led social and urban regeneration, may mirror the very logic of misappropriation if interventions are uncritically enacted through false forms of participation.

We read this phenomenon thanks to the exploratory analysis of an Italian case study that took place in Milan, in an emerging peripheral multi-ethnic area, recently renamed NoLo by a specific group of residents. As we will argument from our results, we assess both the potential benefits of a bottom-up symbolic and economic renewal and its limits in terms of marginalization and loss of place identity.

The New Normal Of The Urban And Its Shadows: Residents’ Perspectives From Istanbul And Leeds On Belonging And Place Attachment

Z. Ruya Yuksel

The Graduate Center, CUNY, United States of America

Through in-depth interviews with residents of Leeds and Istanbul, this research studies how residents of different cultural and geographical contexts construct meanings within urban spaces and in doing so it sheds light upon the impact of the new ways of urbanisation and marketing of urban spaces. This is significant because cities are now facing an increasing competition for inward investment, refurbishment, and the relationship between residents and the city can either reinforce or undermine these efforts. However city planners and local governments who review the fundamental purpose and rationale of the urban within the context of 21st century requirements may not fully consider the perceptions of the local residents.

Pile (1999) emphasised the physical environment of the urban as a symbol of its citizens’ social relatedness and belonging and when the physical environment is disordered, the social functions that it serves become harder to identify (Mumford, 1938). The current speed of urbanism is pushing residents to mould and shape themselves into the spaces that they can find and afford, and the developers and policy makers to seek new ways to squeeze out the scarce urban spaces for housing and businesses, often driven by the additional financial gain on the side. In an age where cities started to follow a “one fits for all” formula to create an attractive image complete with its luxury high-rise residential suites, offices and shopping centres packed into a single building, this research asks whether we are being more socially isolated or united through these newly defined divisions.

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