The panel focuses on ideas of shaping urban and regional space against the backdrop of competition for funding. How do people imagine the future of their environment and its infrastructures and how do they act strategically to obtain funding or to oppose the commodification of public space?
Urban and regional spaces are developed by its inhabitants as well as regional administration or supraregional governmental and economic institutions. In the last few decades, especially in times of economic crisis, access to public funding has decreased considerably. Urban and regional structural development projects in the fields of culture, social affairs, education and the environment are forced to compete against each other for financial support by various private and public funding programs. At the same time this process does not proceed without antagonism but is negotiated by various stakeholders. Local citizens' initiatives or social movements contest the programs and actions of (supra)regional economic and political institutions by organizing protest campaigns or developing alternative projects. How does this type of competition affect the shaping of cities and regions, of communities, institutions, landscapes, architectures and regional identities? How are - on a conceptual level - ideas and visions adjusted to and formatted by the criteria of funding programs? How do these programs eventually shape actual places? By which practices, ideas and projects do local and supranational grassroots organizations contest the ongoing process of commodification of urban and regional structural development? How do the ideas and practices of oppositional and alternative initiatives affect the agendas of economic and political organizations? Contributions should exhibit ethnographic examples of the relationship between economics, politics and the shaping stakeholders. Theoretical and/or historical research on the shaping of living environments and on the effects of competition in these interrelated concepts are also welcome.