The debate on housing practices of self-help mainly focalizes on Southern countries of the world, while in the Northern countries informal practices are still marginal or neglected compared to their proactive roles that could play in reframing public policies. Although this phenomenon has been recently re-evaluated in Europe, especially as antagonism between legality and illegality and rights, the housing practices of self-help could be a promising approach to solve housing deprivation in many metropolitan cities where the gap of income between rich and poor is keener. However, in Italy and in other European countries, squatters are illegal persons and therefore it becomes more complicated for public policies to recuperate them in terms of legality compared to the other countries where the distinction between the “dark zone” of illegality and the “white zone” of rights is less emphasised. The paper analyses the informal practices of re-appropriation of empty public properties in the case study of Palermo. In the general framework of high percentages of empty residences and unutilised buildings, the paper will focus on the correlation between distribution of squats, of social-economic hardship and of self-help practices. The aim is to make visible the invisible phenomenon of illegal occupation highlighting the different national approach, more repressive, compared to the local agenda more open to the dialogue and to the governance with vulnerable social groups. In this framework the cities could play the role of mediators between inhabitants and State to enhance housing policies toward more democratic forms.
|Number of pages||1|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|