Gentrification and public policies: art and culture in urban transformation within the European context

Gentrification and public policies: art and culture in urban transformation within the European context

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With the advent of deindustrialization, the change in the economic system has determined a demographic crisis that has encouraged episodes of social marginalization, creating the conditions for speculation, originated within the uncontrolled real estate market. At the same time, creativity has assumed a fundamental role in the productive system, increasingly attentive to the production of goods and services related to the cultural industry. Art integration in public policies as a catalyst for urban development is adopted by the political power in order to attract investments that can contribute to the increase of capital through the revitalization of parts of the city. In this scenario, this paper aims to systematize chronologically the information inherent to the relationship between gentrification, art and public policies in order to outline bottom-up strategies encouraged by the political power that determine a sustainable transformation of urban territory. A digital cartography in a timeline format will allow to highlight the consequential interconnections between theories, practices and historical events, showing the ambivalence of the performing arts, as a promoter or moderator of gentrification, and the role of politics in the evolution of this socio-economic dynamic since its first definition in 1964 until today. This draft is part of the investigation work of the PhD thesis in Architecture of Contemporary Metropolitan Territories, which aims to elaborate guidelines for public policies that, considering art and culture as fundamental parts in the construction of the identity of the metropolis' citizens, may define a new role for industrial areas abandoned after deindustrialization. The results of this thesis are essentials for amplifying the research on urban regeneration of the territory, cities and built spaces, one of the guiding axes of the thematic agenda for investigating and innovating portuguese architecture.

Corresponding Author

Laura Pomesano


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Laura Pomesano


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Preferred Track

8. The role of artists and urban art

Second Preferred Track

7. Urban competitiveness and social challenges

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