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Lessons from the Brownfield: interspecific associations and the self-generating city
Bianchi, Michaël


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Keywords :
urban brownfields,; self-generating city; interspecific alliances; Neoliberal city; Gentrification
Abstract :
[en] The issue of urban wastelands in Western cities arose in the second half of the 20th century from the encounter between the spaces of deindustrialization and the emergence of new political, ecological and libertarian imaginaries. In spaces abandoned by the real estate market and urban policies, groups of young protesters experimented with temporary autonomous micro-societies. Today, the spectrum of social practices and symbolic production arising from urban wastelands has widened. In the wake of the ecological crisis, these places have become the focus of new challenges and conflicts, ranging from potential reserves for urban expansion, to available spaces appropriated by local – and less local – residents, or places where fragile, sacralized wilderness reappears within the metropolis. Considering the history of some urban wastelands in Europe from the 1970s to the present day, this contribution investigates how these spaces, due to their availability and affordances, can welcome beings, practices and arrangements left aside by urban policies. Doing so, they shed light on the grey areas of institutional planning practices, whether these are based on top-down or bottom-up methods. Furthermore, the relational, cultural and ecological values that develop there, as long as they escape commercial exploitation, illustrate particular modes of space production (in Lefebvre's terms). This paper attempts to characterize these specific modes, and to assess their possible contribution on contemporary urban thinking.
Disciplines :
Author, co-author :
Bianchi, Michaël  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Unité de Recherches de la Faculté d'Architecture (URA)
Language :
Title :
Lessons from the Brownfield: interspecific associations and the self-generating city
Publication date :
05 December 2023
Number of pages :
Event name :
Local Cultures, Global Spaces. Communities, People and Places
Event organizer :
AMPS (Architecture, Media, Politics, Society)
Event place :
Melbourne, Australia
Event date :
5-7 December 2023
Audience :
Development Goals :
11. Sustainable cities and communities
Available on ORBi :
since 20 February 2024


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