Though Italy has a relatively short history of in-migration, certain urban areas are marked by layers of internal migration and international arrivals. Porta Palazzo, the famous marketplace district of Turin, is a symbol of both multiculturalism and its governance. In recent years, public urban renewal projects and private experimental development have transformed its physical and social geography. In this paper, employing an approach that draws upon anthropology, sociology and political science, we explore how different visions of this space are realized by civic, commercial, and cooperative actors. How do different actors use this area and give it social meanings and functions? How have certain projects shaped the dynamics of exclusion and segregation amongst residents and visitors? Drawn principally from qualitative interviews with native and immigrant residents, policymakers, merchants, social educators, and urban innovation project leaders, our work also presents data gathered through participant observations. Comparing these sources with an analysis of the documentation of project selection and implementation from the 1990s onward, we construct a multifaceted model of urban regeneration and stratification. The implemented policies targeting both newcomers and local people have stimulated transformations in the neighborhood’s physical spaces and in social landscape of interactions between actors. There remains, however, a noticeable gap between discourses applauding multicultural living and ongoing processes of social marginalization. Within this context, social actors, particularly those involved in commercial activities, have constructed informal norms of ‘multicultural’ interaction, taking up the idea of ‘difference’ as a marketing strategy. Beside zones characterized by gentrification processes, which may expand rapidly with the arrival of two universities to the area, we find coexisting and overlapping spaces marked by poverty reinforced by the ongoing economic crisis, creating spaces with multiple lives and meanings.

How many Porta Palazzos are there? Conflicting representations and the social production of urban multiculturalism in Italy

SANTERO, ARIANNA;TESTORE, GAIA
2014-01-01

Abstract

Though Italy has a relatively short history of in-migration, certain urban areas are marked by layers of internal migration and international arrivals. Porta Palazzo, the famous marketplace district of Turin, is a symbol of both multiculturalism and its governance. In recent years, public urban renewal projects and private experimental development have transformed its physical and social geography. In this paper, employing an approach that draws upon anthropology, sociology and political science, we explore how different visions of this space are realized by civic, commercial, and cooperative actors. How do different actors use this area and give it social meanings and functions? How have certain projects shaped the dynamics of exclusion and segregation amongst residents and visitors? Drawn principally from qualitative interviews with native and immigrant residents, policymakers, merchants, social educators, and urban innovation project leaders, our work also presents data gathered through participant observations. Comparing these sources with an analysis of the documentation of project selection and implementation from the 1990s onward, we construct a multifaceted model of urban regeneration and stratification. The implemented policies targeting both newcomers and local people have stimulated transformations in the neighborhood’s physical spaces and in social landscape of interactions between actors. There remains, however, a noticeable gap between discourses applauding multicultural living and ongoing processes of social marginalization. Within this context, social actors, particularly those involved in commercial activities, have constructed informal norms of ‘multicultural’ interaction, taking up the idea of ‘difference’ as a marketing strategy. Beside zones characterized by gentrification processes, which may expand rapidly with the arrival of two universities to the area, we find coexisting and overlapping spaces marked by poverty reinforced by the ongoing economic crisis, creating spaces with multiple lives and meanings.
EURA Conference 2014 City Futures III Cities as strategic places and players in a globalized world
Paris
June 18-20 2014
EURA Conference 2014 City Futures III Cities as strategic places and players in a globalized world
1
12
A. Santero; R. Feinberg; G. Testore
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/157158
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