Spazi di ‘soglia’ e diritto alla cittadinanza: esperienze e riflessioni per la riconquista dello spazio pubblico.

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There is, in contemporary Europe, a wide variety of cultural communities. Some of these cultural communities may, of course, be built around values and ways of life, which are so anti-social as to make them unworthy of toleration or support, but – in any case and as a matter of fact – contemporary society is divided into a fragmented and diversified archipelago of minority and plural groups. We view these groups as socially constructed – i.e. as dynamic social phenomena whose boundaries shift over time, and whose salience in the lives of members and non-members varies over time and place: this view emerged within the debate on new social movements, highlighting the role of social and cultural elements in social changes (Melucci, 1989; Giddens, 1991). In reference to their spatial dimension, these groups can be marginalised or segregated communities, and in some cases they appear as ‘gated’ communities. Material and immaterial boundaries create the spatial, social and cultural division between groups. At the same time, boundaries are at the base of the division between private and public spheres that is also between public and private spaces. Between the private and the public sphere, a ‘threshold’ area of social networks’ and community actions does (potentially) exist. New forms of construction of (material and immaterial) ‘common spaces’ rise in the most marginal fringes of the city, as innovative practices of ‘work and live’ together. In this paper we would like to explore the issue of the ‘threshold areas’ in its double interpretation: 1. as physical places where marginal or excluded groups are forced to experiment collective actions in order to gain better (urban) life conditions; 2. as metaphor of an infra-space between private and public sphere, which is also as a pre-condition for the existence of the public space of democracy. In this approach, the substantial precondition for any form of democracy is the existence of political spaces such as the Arendt’s idea of a discursive and acting “infra-space” among equal individuals freely debating. Thus, the public space of democracy coincides with the political space of freedom. Where the tangible space of the agora and the metaphorical space of democracy do not exist, there is no political space (Arendt, 1958). In planning terms, there is no space (that is also efficacy) for participative planning processes. In order to illustrate our considerations on this issue, we will use some concepts as developed by Hannah Arendt (1958), applying them to the political discourse in planning participatory processes. This leads us to consider and weigh up some of the rhetoric and ambiguities making up the concept of inclusionary participative practices, as well as individuating some unavoidable preconditions in order to build up efficient participative planning processes, whereas public interest and consensus building receive low policy priority.
Lingua originaleItalian
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteAbitare il Futuro...dopo Copenhagen. Atti delle giornate di studio
Numero di pagine15
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2010

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