W078
Urban renewal, uncertainty and exclusion (EN)

Convenors:
Martijn Koster (Radboud University )
Discussant:
Steffen Jensen (RCT, Copenhagen); Helene Risør (Copenhagen University); Anouk de Koning (University of Amsterdam)
Location:
V505
Start time:
11 July, 2012 at 11:30
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

This panel seeks to understand how urban renewal affects the lives of marginalised city residents. Our concern is how these changes in their daily living environment produce anxiety and social exclusion. We are also interested in how people rework these changes that are imposed on their lives.

Long abstract:

Urban renewal produces uncertainty among those affected. "Upgrading" of deprived urban areas, like social housing in the global North and slums in the South, forces people to move due to renovation or, more often, demolition of their houses. Urban renewal is a consequential intervention in the socio-spatial and economic dimensions of people's lives, as it disrupts social networks and removes people from their homes and workplaces. Before renewal is actually carried out, people are left in a state of anxiety, as they - for long periods of time - remain uninformed about what exactly will happen. After their move, to an appointed or chosen dwelling or a new land occupation, the unknown new living environment also causes disquiet. Urban renewal produces a differentiation between different categories of citizens (based on property ownership, economic class or ethnicity) and leads to forms of social exclusion. In many cases, participatory procedures legitimate urban renewal programmes, and conceal the real estate speculations that guide it, through a discourse in which residents, as autonomous citizens, are co-responsible for the redesign of their living environment. This panel seeks to understand how urban redesign affects the lives of marginalised city residents. Our concern is how renewal programmes and their participatory procedures produce anxiety and social exclusion. Although these processes may seem to evolve relentlessly, we are also interested in how people find creative ways to rework the changes that are imposed on their lives. This panel welcomes studies, especially ethnographic, of urban renewal from all over the world.