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    Emergent spaces, contemporary urban conflicts. Experiences of social mix in changing neighborhoods: The case study Milan's Chinatown

    Manzo, Lidia (2012) Emergent spaces, contemporary urban conflicts. Experiences of social mix in changing neighborhoods: The case study Milan's Chinatown. In: Living on the Boundaries: Urban Marginality in National and International Contexts. Advances in Education in Diverse Communities (8). Emerald, pp. 415-449. ISBN 9781780520322

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    Few of the spaces of Milan are so strongly loaded with cultural and political baggage as “Chinatown” – the ethnic neighborhood on Paolo Sarpi Street – where a handful of roads, the global flow of Chinese goods, and the daily routines of elderly people and families are merged. The complexity of the “Sarpi Question” is precisely determined by the discussion of social dimensions, space and ethnoracial, economic and political, all at once. In order to come to a deeper understanding of the economic mechanism of development of a city, this chapter begins by examining the causes that led to the break of an apparent balance in the practices of local cohabitation of the Chinese District in Milan. This chapter will also examine the relationship of power and conflict between the local government and the social groups, from the point of view of an urban change process. This framework deals with reclaiming urban space and the requalification processes aimed at improving the physical context of the Sarpi area, and especially at starting up processes of financial revitalization. “No buses, no taxis, no cars and no trading. Why don't you just build a wall around us?” reads a banner displayed by traders on Sarpi Street in the 2008 Christmas season, the first month of controlled traffic flow. Ethnographic research attempts to explain how this result was reached. The voice of Italian residents is only one of those emerging from the results of this research, along with those of business owners, city users, and local politicians. It is an interplay between antagonism and juxtaposition in which I have tried to highlight the existing conflict with the aim of understanding and explaining the tension in this urban space. Most importantly, this case demonstrates that the problem of cohabitation in a socially mixed neighborhood is a problem of representation and perception, which is essentially political. The opening conclusions deal with the paradox of the urban safety policies promoted by the Milan local government as a place of decompression in the face of strong social pressure on immigration, precariousness, and insecurity. Strategies aimed at places to act on people.

    Item Type: Book Section
    Keywords: Emergent spaces; contemporary urban conflicts; social mix; changing neighborhoods; Milan; Chinatown;
    Academic Unit: St Patrick's College, Maynooth > Faculty of Canon Law
    Item ID: 7905
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Lidia Manzo
    Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2017 15:28
    Publisher: Emerald
    Refereed: Yes

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