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Accepted Paper:

Unveiling urban left-behindness: Exploring territorial inequalities in the urban periphery  
Emma Fàbrega (Universitat de Barcelona) Malin Roiha (Universitat de Barcelona) Miguel Javier Aramburu Otazu (University of Barcelona)

Paper short abstract:

This paper aims to locate urban vulnerability within territorial inequality debates through the analysis of the concept “left-behindness”. It draws upon ethnographic research with residents and other stakeholders in Barcelona's urban periphery.

Paper long abstract:

Spain exhibits the most pronounced demographic and spatial imbalances within the EU (De Cos and O Reques, 2019), underscoring prevailing territorial disparities in the country. The concept of "left-behind places" emerges as a valuable tool, directing attention to a field of research that addresses "emerging spatially interdependent social problems and issues" (Lichter and Ziliack, 2017:9). This perspective signifies a novel approach recognising the spatial interdependence of factors contributing to inequalities (Brown and Shucksmith, 2017). While the Anglo-Saxon literature increasingly integrates discussions on being or feeling “left-behind" across rural and urban contexts, a comparable convergence is less common in Spain. In the Spanish context, the debate on territorial inequalities is largely associated with rural areas. In the urban sphere, spatial inequalities are typically addressed through the concepts of urban segregation or urban vulnerability, often independently of broader discussions on territorial inequalities. This paper thus endeavours to locate urban vulnerability within debates on territorial inequalities through the concept of “left-behindness”. The paper discusses the day-to-day experiences and perceptions of living in an area affected by territorial inequalities, drawing upon original ethnographic research conducted with residents and other stakeholders in the urban periphery of the metropolis Barcelona.

Panel P047
Living, leaving and undoing ‘left behindness’
  Session 1