Charnock G, Ribera-Fumaz R, 2011, "A new space for knowledge and people? Henri Lefebvre, representations of space, and the production of 22@Barcelona" Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 29(4) 613 – 632
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A new space for knowledge and people? Henri Lefebvre, representations of space, and the production of 22@Barcelona
Greig Charnock, Ramon Ribera-Fumaz
Received 21 December 2009; in revised form 12 October 2010; published online 12 April 2011
Abstract. The Barcelona model of urban transformation has for some time now been considered a paradigmatic case of successful regeneration. Urban change is ongoing in the city, albeit in a changed global context in which cities are increasingly being seen as the principal drivers of economic growth and competitiveness in the ‘new’ or ‘knowledge’ economy. The paper draws on the writing of Henri Lefebvre and on his critique of representations of space, in particular, in order to examine the current strategic transformation of the Poblenou district of Barcelona into 22@Barcelona: an innovation district. The paper endorses Lefebvre’s work as a point of departure in critically analysing contemporary strategies to engineer urban competitiveness. It argues that the functionalist and reductive representations of 22@Barcelona betray an ideological concern with the globally competitive abstract space, the reduction of differences, and the closing of the circuit of everyday life in Poblenou.
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