Development and Urbanization
This panel is an invitation to consider the relationship between the city and its neighbourhoods. Many aspects of the urban experience – ways of life and livelihoods, heritage preservation, organizing for local amenities like parks, and keeping local areas safe – are initiated, organized and sustained at the neighbourhood level. Neighbourhood activists are often part of a larger city learning and cooperative networks that work to support community gardens and food security, housing rights, and a number of critical issues central to cities.
The panel’s objectives are to:
(a) Conceptualize the ways in which neighbourhood local action shape the urban culture and city building;
(b) Understand the contributions of various disciplines and of particular methods in approaching the study of neighbourhoods; and
(c) See how the issues and dynamics identified in a particular paper can be better understood and elaborated in a comparative perspective provided by examples from other papers in the panel(s).
The papers which follow are organized into four sub themes:
(a) External Links: The neighbourhood is implicated in a variety of external relations which need to be identified because these relationships shape local life. At the same time the local processes have socio-political and economic implications for the city and the country.
(b) Social Organization: this set of papers work to understand how the urban neighbourhood is organized and how some forms of local organization can contribute to the culture of the city, while other forms create distinctions that increase urban conflicts among the city’s diverse populations.
(c) Neighbourhood and Livelihoods: City neighborhoods are more than just a concentration of households in a particular geographical area. Understanding social and economic interactions among neighbours, as well as their relationships with other locations in the city contribute to understanding livelihoods spatially. Consequently, planning a neighbourhood is more than just about residential arrangement, but is also about understanding its dynamics, histories, and aspirations.
(d) Neighbourhood Activism: As the basic spatial unit of the city, the residents of the neighbourhood share a collective place experience, engage in social and economic interactions, maintain a desire to see improvements in their neighbourhood, and in some cases, an urgency to protect their neighbourhoods from redevelopment and other forms of intrusive action. This set of papers see the role neighbourhood activism play in collective action and the effects of such action on the city.