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Accepted Paper:

Wastescapes in a "badland": fighting against the territorial stigma of a popular neighbourhood of Milan  
Paolo Grassi (University of Milano Bicocca)

Paper short abstract:

In the last few years, the public space of a popular neighbourhood of Milan has become more and more dirty. The members of two local Committees try to face this problem. Also through waste, the spatial and symbolic exclusion of that neighbourhood overlaps with its social isolation.

Paper long abstract:

Poor urban areas are often more exposed to environmental problems than the areas where urban elites live. A public neighbourhood of Milan called San Siro - where I am carrying out an ethnographic research since January 2017 - seems to confirm this statement. In fact, in the last few years, in contrast to the rich and renewed area in which the neighbourhood is located, the public space of San Siro is getting more and more polluted. Trash is abandoned in several corners, streets are dirty and unclean. AMSA, the company that manages the waste collection of Milan, regularly comes through the neighbourhood, but nothing really changes. My paper will describe how two local Committees try to face this issue through distinct strategies. The first one (Comitato Abitanti - Committee of the Residents) is connected to a Milanese social movement that openly fights for the "right to the city"; the second one (Comitato di Quartiere - Committee of the Neighbourhood) is formed by a group of elderly Italian residents and it only partially corresponds to one of the "Nimby" ("Not in my backyard") groups well studied by some Italian sociologists. Despite their different visions, the two Committees pursue a very similar objective when implementing actions aimed to set up an unpolluted public space: deconstructing the territorial stigma, i.e. demanding a spatial justice against the social isolation that affect their everyday life.

Panel P149
Wastescapes: spatial justice and inequalities in contemporary cities
  Session 1 Wednesday 15 August, 2018, -