Gotti / Spatial practices for empowerment

Spatial practices for empowerment

Author: Francesca Gotti, Politecnico di Milano

Supervisor: Francesco Careri, Roma Tre University; Francesca Lanz, Northumbria University; University of Lincoln

Research stage: PhD intermediate stage

Category: Extended abstract


Several studies carried out internationally have highlighted the emergence of the problem of “urban inequalities”: these inequalities concern how economic and spatial resources are distributed in cities, reflected in a scarcity of services and in the low quality of collective spaces in areas mainly inhabited by low-income families.

Structural support against urban inequalities on a large scale is hardly compatible within strategic planning, raising questions regarding the effectiveness of design interventions. As a counter-reaction, self-managed and grass-root welfare initiatives formulate alternative answers to issues of urban rights, and power relations.

In this context, the research develops an illustrative and comparative study of projects for public facilities realised by critical spatial practices, in areas affected by urban inequalities. The aim is to investigate the role of practitioners in addressing the needs and visibility of the communities, producing spatial solutions able to support the development of subversive systems.

Keywords: Urban Inequalities, Empowerment, Critical Spatial Practices