Social innovation, reciprocity and contentious politics: Facing the socio-urban crisis in Ciutat Meridiana, Barcelona

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Abstract

© 2016, © Urban Studies Journal Limited 2016. Taking one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Barcelona as a paradigmatic case, the aim of this paper is to explore the ways in which contestation organised by sublocal grassroots movements in the context of the current urban crisis operates, both in terms of content and form of protest. Our thesis is that resident mobilisation in the neighbourhood of Ciutat Meridiana is expressive of a new cycle of (urban) social mobilisations in Spanish cities. In such mobilisations, more or less spontaneous initiatives which emerged to counteract the effects of the crisis at the community level are simultaneously serving as platforms for reciprocity and political contestation. Establishing a dialogue with the literature on social innovation, in this paper we claim that these micro-local urban practices are linked to broader social movements and thus play a fundamental role in the political empowerment of citizens living in highly segregated and vulnerable urban areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2172-2188
JournalUrban Studies
Volume54
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • austerity politics
  • economic crisis
  • social innovation
  • urban contestation
  • urban segregation

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