Changing landscapes of leisure and consumption / Stream E – Contested cities

Organizer: Magda Bolzoni (University of Turin, IT) Jan Rath (University of Amsterdam, NL).


The session deals with processes of gentrification and the proliferation of urban landscapes of leisure and consumption. In many cities in economically advanced countries today, commercial gentrification is welcomed – if not directly promoted – by local governments as a way to revitalize deprived neighbourhoods and encourage economic growth at the same time. A vibrant social and cultural life is considered central for urban promotion, and upscale restaurants, trendy cafés and fancy boutiques have been often considered visible markers of hip and gentrifying/ied areas. Peculiarly enough, urban scholars have mainly confined their research activities on the residential dimension of these transformations. The commercial dimension has often been ignored or, at best, taken into account as ancillary consequence of gentrifiers’ consumption preferences. It could be argued, however, that commercial transformations may have an active role in fostering residential gentrification and in shaping the representations and the everyday practices of urban areas even before the demographic composition changes. Only very recently have some urban scholars taken issue with the interplay of residential and commercial transformations and their nexus with broader dynamics of urban change and social inequality.

We welcome contributions on the interplay of residential and commercial gentrification in general and changing landscapes of consumption in particular. Specifically, the session welcomes empirically thick and theoretically informed contributions such as:

  1. analyses of the role of entrepreneurs, consumers (lower and working classes alike), urban governments and other institutions in the production of these new commercial spaces,
  2. empirical studies of commercial gentrification in action, including studies on the style and aesthetic characteristics of the new venues,
  3. analyses of everyday interactions, practices of resistance (if any) and political struggle.

E4.1: Changing Landscapes of Leisure and Consumption

Chairs: Magda Bolzoni (Università degli Studi di Torino) Jan Rath (Universiteit van Amsterdam)


Ingmar Pastak
Socio-spatial dimension of urban renewal projects in market-led city: the interaction of flagship projects and local community

Willem Boterman, Fenne Pinkster
The changing urban landscape of the Canal Belt and sense of belonging of long term middle-class residents

Nico Bazzoli
The commercial transformation of Bolognina and its implications in the neighbourhood gentrification process

Kevin Drain
Visualizing retail change in Helsinki

Distributed paper

Meric Kirmizi
Urban Redevelopment in Osaka: the More Gentrified, the Less Crafted?


E4.2: Changing Landscapes of Leisure and Consumption

Chairs: Magda Bolzoni (Università degli Studi di Torino) Jan Rath (Universiteit van Amsterdam)


Chiara Rabbiosi
Branding through performance. Landscapes of consumption and heritage-making

Michael Friesenecker Yvonne Franz
New social spheres? Practices and interactions in the commercial spaces of gentrifying neighbourhoods

Freek Janssens
Through Istanbul’s marketplaces: the materiality of the market

Felicitas Hillmann
Marginal urbanity: Migrant entrepreneurship as an fuzzy element of urban revitalization, Kreuzberg

Distributed papers

Nelson Trevis Saldaña
Where Everybody Knows Your Name: The Social, Spatial, and Symbolic Functions of Small Businesses in Detroit

E4.3: Changing Landscapes of Leisure and Consumption

Chairs: Magda Bolzoni (Università degli Studi di Torino) Jan Rath (Universiteit van Amsterdam)


Agustin Cócola Gant
Tourism and commercial gentrification

Melissa Moralli
Challenging gentrification and zooification in urban ethnic neighbourhoods. The case of Italian Mygrantour

Emma Jackson
Bowling against gentrification: Contested leisure space and city futures

Nicos Souliotis
Cultural markets and urban transformation in the historical center of Athens 1990-today

Distributed papers

Adrienne Csizmady Gergely Olt
Fashionable Ruined-Pubs: Retro-Tourists Area in Budapest’s Inner City

Dicle Kizildere Zeynep Gunay
Contested Commercial Gentrification in Istanbul: A Case Study of Tophane Neighbourhood

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