New journal article: ‘Resisting Gentrification: the case for Diversity’

A new journal article reflecting on the notion of urban diversity in gentrification processes has now been published in the Urbanistica Tre special issue “Stay put! Anti-gentrification practices in Southern Europe” edited by Sandra Annunziata with a commentary by Loretta Lees.

Manzo, Lidia K.C. (2017). Resisting Gentrification: the case for Diversity,” special issue “Stay put! Anti-gentrification practices in Southern Europe” in Urbanistica Tre, Journal of Urban Design and Planning of Università degli Studi Roma Tre, Vol. 5 , Iss. 13, 111-117. ISSN: ISSN: 2531-7091

Abstract: The endorsement of diversity has always been a hallmark of gentrification. Thus, my view is that practices of resistance that advocate for an idealized version of urban diversity per se do not produce socio-economic inclusiveness and tolerance. Rather, it is the ambiguous coalescence between the production and the consumption of diversity that, while enhancing a diverse plurality of dwellers, can give rise to a plurality of interests and goals that are often in conflict. Critical urban research involves examining the effects of diversity on the development of gentrification processes rather than simply assuming that the results of its practices of resistance will be beneficial. The interests or lifestyle of a group should not be favored simply because it is at a disadvantage. This occurred in Milan, where Chinese entrepreneurs were able to move from being dominated by the revanchist policies of the local government to being the dominant actors in the rise of a “commodified” multiethnic neighborhood. It is necessary to investigate whether such an action would displace other groups. This is exactly how the ambiguity of diversity emerges: on the one hand it defines urban appeal, fosters creativity, and breeds tolerance, while on the other hand, it can undermine democracy if individuals’ loyalty to group interests or symbols is greater than their interest in the common good.

New journal article “Naked elites: unveiling embodied markers of superiority through co-performance ethnography in gentrified Brooklyn’s Park Slope”

A new journal article reflecting on performance as the paradigm-driven methodological tool to unveil the hidden, micro-strategies of elite reproduction in the super-gentrified neighborhood of Brooklyn’s Park Slope has now been published on Taylor & Francis Online.

Manzo, Lidia K.C. (2017). Naked elites: unveiling embodied markers of superiority through co-performance ethnography in gentrified Brooklyn’s Park Slope,” in Urban Geography, Vol. 0 , Iss. 0,0. ISSN: 0272-3638 (Print) 1938-2847 (Online). DOI: 10.1080/02723638.2017.1381535

The first 50 readers can get a free copy here‬ ‬

“Naked elites: unveiling embodied markers of superiority through co-performance ethnography in gentrified Brooklyn’s Park Slope”
(c) Lidia K. C. Manzo in Urban Geography (2017)

CFP: Putting the Financialisation of Housing in the ‘Rights’ Place: A Multi-Scalar Perspective

Call for Papers: “Putting the Financialisation of Housing in the ‘Rights’ Place: A Multi-Scalar Perspective”

XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology: ‘Power, Violence and Justice: Reflections, Responses and Responsibilities’,
RC21 – Research Committee on Regional and Urban Development
Toronto, Canada. 15-21 July 2018


The 2017 UN’s special rapporteur for housing, sets out how unregulated global capital has not only rapidly distorted real estate markets, but has also disconnected housing from its social function of providing a place to live in security and dignity, thus undermining the realization of housing as a human right. The increased intertwining of finance and real estate was a prelude to and intimately bound up with the global economic crisis, yet the post-crash context has been particularly dynamic as new roles are cast for private-equity firms and other financial actors in the ‘for-rent’ residential sector and as states engineer new policies to further affirm the treatment of housing as a financial asset. One upshot of these new financialized visions of housing and of the city more generally has been to accentuate sharply housing accessibility crises and socio-spatial segregation. This session examines the financialization of housing at a variety of scales using a ‘rights’-based framework by inviting papers that address some of the following:

  • How pre- and post-crash processes of housing financialization are forged, governed, contested, experienced and performed?
  • What is the role of local communities? How do they cope with everyday affordability problems in the current climate of welfare state retrenchments, predatory lending practices, displacement and eviction?
  • What roles do state and financial actors play in promoting housing financialization? What are the impacts of the entrance of private-equity companies and REITs as the new asset owners and landlords in post-crash cities?


Lidia K.C. MANZO, and Sinéad KELLY,

Department of Geography at Maynooth University (Ireland)

How to present a paper

Anyone interested in presenting a paper should submit an abstract on-line through the centralized Confex website. Abstracts must be submitted in English, French or Spanish. Only abstracts submitted on-line will be considered in the selection process.

Select the Research Committee: RC21 Regional and Urban Development

Select the Session: Putting the Financialisation of Housing in the ‘Rights’ Place: A Multi-Scalar Perspective

Link for on-line submissions:


30 September 2017 (please, notice that only abstracts submitted on-line can be considered for the selection!)

General inquiries can also be directed to the organizers.


New journal article: Video-Ethnography and Critical Research for More Democratic Urbanization

A new journal article reflecting on the notion of urban democracy through a video-ethnographic study of the conflicts that followed the 2007 riots in Milan’s Chinese neighborhood has now been published in Visual Anthropology in Vol. 30/2017, Issue 3: City Visualscapes: Visual Practices of Urban Research.

Manzo, Lidia K.C. (2017). Video-Ethnography and Critical Research for More Democratic Urbanization: The Case of Milan Chinatown,” in Visual Anthropology, , Vol. 30, Issue 3: City Visualscapes: Visual Practices of Urban Research, 206-22. ISSN: 0894-9468 print/1545-5920 online. DOI: 10.1080/08949468.2017.1296295

The first 50 readers can get a free copy here‬ ‬or download the proof copy from this website.

photo-Video Collaborative Ethnography in Urban Spaces. The production of ‘White Eagle’ in the former Italcementi Factory in Trento

A book chapter based on the collaborative video ethnography conducted in the former Italcementi factory in Trento has now been published in Italian in the edited book of Frisina, A. on Visual Methods of Social Research:

Manzo, Lidia K.C.  (2016). “foto-Video Etnografia Collaborativa negli Spazi Urbani. La produzione di ‘Aquila Bianca’ nell’ex-Italcementi di Trento“, in Frisina, A. (ed.), Metodi Visuali di ricerca sociale, Bologna: Il Mulino (pp. 191-210). ISBN: 8815265570

The study draws from the collaborative ethnographic video produced  with refugees, professional filmmakers, photographers and local activists concerned about the precarious living conditions of a group of migrants that make the former Italcementi factory their home. Placing collaboration more systematically throughout both fieldwork and the writing process, the work discusses urban research practice in the light of industrial disinvestment processes in northern Italy.



Governing the city in a post-crisis context: The case of Dublin

A seminar by Niamh Moore-Cherry
(University College Dublin)
Wednesday, April 27th 2016, 12.00 | 13.30
Aula Master, DAStU | 5th floor
School of Architecture Urban Planning and Construction Engineering | Politecnico di Milano


As has been well documented, the year 2008 marked the demise of what had been broadly heralded as the ‘Celtic Tiger’ economic miracle as a triple crisis (financial, fiscal and banking) took hold in Ireland. While much has been written about the banking element, the recent crisis was in large part the result of complex inter-relationships between real-estate, financial, planning and banking interests, concentrated particularly in urban settings. Norris and Byrne (2014) argue that one of the fundamental causes of the crisis in Ireland was planning and housing policy. The failures of the property sector, and the inadequacy of government policy in steering it appropriately, are perhaps best illustrated in the phenomenon of unfinished estates (Kitchin et al., 2014). Fox-Rogers and Murphy (2013) argue however that it is not just planning policy but the operation of planning – both formal and informal  – that demand more intense scrutiny. This paper examines the operation of planning in Dublin before, during and after the crisis. It highlights two key issues facing the development of the city-region today: derelict space and lack of affordable housing supply.  The paper illustrates the poor governance arrangements that underpinned planning in the city before 2008 and considers whether any substantive changes have been made that might impact on addressing the challenges currently faced.

Introduction and discussion: Lidia Manzo – Maynooth University and Politecnico di Milano (DAStU)
Discussants: Guido Anselmi – Università di Milano Bicocca,  Marta Cordini – Politecnico di Milano (DAStU), and Francesca Oleari – Università Cattolica di Milano

Download the flyer here