González S, 2009, "(Dis)connecting Milan(ese): deterritorialised urbanism and disempowering politics in globalising cities" Environment and Planning A 41(1) 31 – 47
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(Dis)connecting Milan(ese): deterritorialised urbanism and disempowering politics in globalising cities
Received 22 June 2006; in revised form 1 June 2007; published online 14 November 2008
Abstract. This paper contributes to the debates on relational conceptualisations of space by focusing on how these notions are used by policy makers in particular governance contexts. It uses the example of Milan, where recent urban interventions and a particular fragmented governance structure demonstrate how overstated accounts of relationality can take hold in disempowering ways. It argues that, as Milan tries to become connected into the global flows of capital by ‘going up’ the city league, most Milanese are becoming disconnected from the democratic government of their city. As such, an excessive emphasis on connectivity and fluid conceptions of space risks losing sight of the particularities and uniqueness of places and the territorial nature of problems in cities today. It concludes that, theoretically, we still need a relational concept of space but one which denounces unevenness and spatial injustice.
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