Understanding urban space as a result of negotiations, interventions and cultural (re)production, contributors examine practices and discourses of planning, creating and using urban spaces in negotiation and contest between civil society, economy and the government.
City development involves several kinds of actors, groups, initiatives and institutions, each with their own vision and agenda of an appropriate materialization of socio-spatial standards and living conditions. Political, ecological, sociocultural and economic changes and challenges affect the visions and strategies of the involved stakeholders. Thinking of political and social transformations during the last decades, stigmatization and marginalization along class, race, ethnicity and gender lines, the change from Fordism to Post-Fordism, financial crises, social restructuring, environmental disasters and of course war and migration create challenges that affect the production of urban space. They also influence the governance of cities in ways of (re)distribution, redefinition and valuation of space. At the same time, it effects the way cities are constructed and imagined in terms of how people think about their rights to housing and living in the city, the planning of new commercial and residential complexes as well as public space, but also the preservation of existing neighborhoods and historic assets. This panel aims to introduce different examples from ethnographic research that attend to competing actors who contest and facilitate urban development from below. What are the problems and successes of such projects on an every-day level, considering traditions, the phase of development and its aftermath?