Indeterminate spaces, reclaimed spaces, contested spaces
Urban development and the struggle for the political
The contribution presented by Enrico Gualini in the framework of the programme Global Streets at the Chair Villes Globales addresses the topic of the presence of indeterminate, appropriable, and contested spaces in contemporary cities, and discusses it against the background of debates on the nature of the ‘urban political’.
In how far do urban development conflicts challenge our understanding of politics and ‘the political’? And in how far can they contribute to redefining the meaning of democratic politics in urban contexts? The presentation stems from an engagement with current debates on democracy and the political, and connects it with critical urbans studies by exploring the spatial dimension of contention and urban mobilization in cities.
The presentation advances some more general reflections on the topic, based on a critical observation of distinctive features of urban conflicts in Berlin – a paradigmatic case of a city where the presence of ‘indeterminate spaces’ is a stake of social practices in which the reclaiming of spatial resources develops a dimension of contention and agonism and, ultimately, develops a potential for the renewal of political practices. Far from reflecting a purely theoretical debate, it looks at conflicts as empirical manifestations of a struggle for redefining the borders of the political – under conditions that may be defined as ‘post-political’ – and at the role played in this by spatiality.
Enrico Gualini has invited Marco Cremaschi, Professor and Director of the Cycle d’urbanisme at Sciences Po as discussant.
Salle du Conseil A | 54, boulevard Raspail | 75006 Paris
Wednedsay, June 28th 2017
foto: Enrico Gualini © 2015