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This paper exposes, analyses, and challenges the revanchism (Smith, 1996) exhibited by ruling elites in austerity Britain. After recapitulating the concept of revanchism…
This paper exposes, analyses, and challenges the revanchism (Smith, 1996) exhibited by ruling elites in austerity Britain. After recapitulating the concept of revanchism in its original form, and discussing some critiques and extensions, it scrutinizes the emergence of revanchist political economy in Britain, with particular reference to the UK housing crisis. In order to explain how revanchism has become so ingrained in British society, the paper analyses the production of ignorance via the activation of class and place stigma, where free market think tanks play a crucial role in deflecting attention away from the causes of housing crisis. It is argued that the production of ignorance carves an economic and political path for gentrification on a scale never before seen in the United Kingdom, where speculation, rentier capitalist extraction, and the global circulation of capital in urban land markets is resulting in staggering fortunes for those expropriating socially created use values.
This chapter offers a theoretical appraisal of our contemporary hyper-regulated urban spaces situated against a backdrop of deindustrialisation, the shift to consumer economies and the rise of the creative city paradigm. While existing work has characterised urban space as dead and asocial spaces bereft of life. This chapter opts to think our city centres as ‘Zombie Cities’: cities which have been eviscerated the social but are forced to wear the exterior signs of life through the injection of economically productive but artificial modes of culture and creativity. This sets the stage for explaining why parkour is inconsistently included and excluded from urban space, and how it attains spatio-economically contingent legitimacy and inclusion into urban space that problematises existing theoretical perspectives around a revanchist urbanism.
This study explores the simultaneous transitions in Palestine/Israel and South Africa at the end of the 20th century through an analysis of the shifting geography of…
This study explores the simultaneous transitions in Palestine/Israel and South Africa at the end of the 20th century through an analysis of the shifting geography of Johannesburg and Jerusalem. After analyzing the relationship between political, economic and spatial restructuring, I examine the walled enclosures that mark the landscapes of post-apartheid Johannesburg and post-Oslo Jerusalem. I conclude by arguing that these walled enclosures reveal several interconnected aspects of the relationship between neo-liberal restructuring and the militarization of urban space. They also exemplify different configurations of sovereignty under conditions of neo-liberalism and empire.
In the post-industrial economies of large urban centers, redevelopment has become the primary engine of economic growth. Redevelopment projects are designed to encourage…
In the post-industrial economies of large urban centers, redevelopment has become the primary engine of economic growth. Redevelopment projects are designed to encourage investment, attract tourism and bring new residents to the city. This form of city building is driven by a neoliberal urban agenda that embraces privatization, and is controlled by the economic interests of private business. In this chapter, we argue that city building under a neoliberal rubric is also a gendered political process, the outcome of which is the redevelopment of urban space in ways that reflect a masculinist and corporatist view of city life. Moreover, both the form of redevelopment and the process itself function to limit public participation in the life and growth of cities, particularly for women and other marginalized groups. In the first section of this chapter, Gendered spaces of redevelopment, we examine how the results of such a process are made manifest in the built form of Canada's largest city, Toronto, with a population of 2.5 million. The city is experiencing a major process of redevelopment and city building that is evident in a massive wave of condominium construction. We suggest that condominium projects, as a particular form of redevelopment, create privatized spaces and encourage privatized services that articulate neatly with a neoliberal urban agenda.
Today’s China has striven to exclude street vendors through political campaigns such as “National Sanitary City” and “National Civilized City.” Such campaigns pursue…
Today’s China has striven to exclude street vendors through political campaigns such as “National Sanitary City” and “National Civilized City.” Such campaigns pursue modernity and beautiful urban spaces by deeming street vendors to be disorderly, unsanitary, and obsolete. Taking a single Chinese city as a case study, this research analyzes why and how local bureaucratic apparatuses apply rapidly-changing and ambiguous political treatment to street vendors. This research also examines street vendors’ struggles and coping strategies with these ever-changing politics.
The data for this study were obtained during a total of ten months of fieldwork, beginning in 2013 and ending in 2016. In-depth interviews were conducted with fifty-one street vendors and six government officials; additionally, the researcher consulted newspaper reports, archives, and relevant official publications.
First, regarding the governance of street vendors, the local administration has shifted their stance between two distinct patterns – suppression and tolerance – depending on the timing of certain political campaigns. Second, the corruption and laziness of government officials has provided niches for the revival of street vending after campaigns are over, though with limitations. Third, street vendors in China tend to be passive recipients of government suppression, unable to forge effective resistance because of a lack of strong leadership and general organization.
This research will add to the general understanding of the government-vendor relationship by revealing the complexity, uncertainty, and flexibility inherent in interactions between these two groups.
This paper analyzes the connection between black political protest and mobilization, and the rise and fall of a black urban regime. The case of Oakland is instructive…
This paper analyzes the connection between black political protest and mobilization, and the rise and fall of a black urban regime. The case of Oakland is instructive because by the mid-1960s the ideology of “black power” was important in mobilizing two significant elements of the historically disparaged black community: (1) supporters of the Black Panthers and, (2) neighborhood organizations concentrated in West Oakland. Additionally, Oakland like the city of Atlanta also developed a substantial black middle class that was able to mobilize along the lines of its own “racialized” class interests. Collectively, these factors were important elements in molding class-stratified “black power” and coalitional activism into the institutional politics of a black urban regime in Oakland. Ultimately, reversal factors would undermine the black urban regime in Oakland. These included changes in the race and class composition of the local population: black out-migration, the “new immigration,” increasing (predominantly white) gentrification, and the continued lack of opportunity for poor and working-class blacks, who served as the unrequited base of the black urban regime. These factors would change the fortunes of black political life in Oakland during the turbulent neoliberal era.
As a sustainability initiative with the backing of civil society, business, or government interests, urban agriculture can drive green gentrification even when advocates…
As a sustainability initiative with the backing of civil society, business, or government interests, urban agriculture can drive green gentrification even when advocates of these initiatives have good intentions and are aware of their exclusionary potential for urban farmers and residents. I investigate this more general pattern with the case of how urban agriculture became used for green gentrification in Denver, Colorado. This is a city with many urban farmers that gained access to land after the Great Recession but faced the contradiction of being a force for displacement and at risk of displacement as the city adopted new sustainability and food system goals, the housing market recovered, and green gentrification spread. I argue that to understand this outcome, it is necessary to explain how political economy and cultural forces create neighborhood disinvestment and economic marginalization and compel the entrance of urban agriculture initiatives due to their low-profit mode of production and potential economic, environmental, and social benefits. Central to how urban agriculture initiatives contribute to green gentrification is the process of revalorization, which is how green growth machines repurpose such initiatives by drawing on their cultural cachet to exploit rent gaps. I conclude with a set of hypotheses to help other scholars test the conditions under which urban agriculture is more or less likely to contribute to green gentrification. Doing so may help nuance convictions about the benefits of urban agriculture within the context of entrenched inequalities in rapidly changing cities.
Based on a case study of the Logan Renewal Initiative (LRI) in Queensland Australia, this chapter examines the competing aims bound up in programmes of urban renewal and…
Based on a case study of the Logan Renewal Initiative (LRI) in Queensland Australia, this chapter examines the competing aims bound up in programmes of urban renewal and the way different stakeholder groups advocate for one component of the programme while seeking to prevent another.
A qualitative case study approach is used based on interview and documentary material to elicit the competing views and opinions of local residents, state and local governments, housing providers and other stakeholders around a renewal programme.
It is found that there are two competing agendas bound up within the LRI, with gentrification at the heart of each. One focuses on the virtues of the social housing reform agenda, but sees gentrification as an unintended and undesirable outcome that needs to be carefully managed. The other is a place-improvement ambition that sees gentrification as an effective policy mechanism, but one that will be undermined by any increases in the stock of social and affordable housing.
The chapter emphasizes that programmes of renewal are rarely coherent policy tools, but are subject to change, contestation and negotiation as stakeholders compete to impose their own desired outcomes. In the case of the LRI, both outcomes will likely result in the marginalization of low-income groups unless their needs are placed at the forefront of its design.
The chapter engages critically with the widely held view that urban renewal is a means of gentrifying local neighbourhoods by showing how local conditions and circumstances render the relationship between renewal and gentrification far more complex that generally conceived.
Classic urban ethnography has often viewed urbanization and the urban condition as pathological and the city as disorganized, with urban areas producing problems to be…
Classic urban ethnography has often viewed urbanization and the urban condition as pathological and the city as disorganized, with urban areas producing problems to be solved through the managerial control of urban space. This chapter presents an alternative view, introducing an Interaction Order approach within urban ethnography. This way of studying culture builds on the work of Emile Durkheim (1893), W. E. B. Du Bois (1903), Harold Garfinkel (1967), Erving Goffman (1983), and Anne Rawls (1987). Interaction Orders are shared rules and expectations that members of a group use to coordinate their daily social relations and sense-making, which take the form of taken-for-granted practices that are specific to a place and its circumstances. The power of this social order, which is constructed by the interactions among participants themselves, renders outsiders’ interventions counterproductive. Understanding local interaction orders enables ethnographers to interpret problems differently and imagine solutions that work with local culture.