Competing Ideas of Social Justice and Space: Locating Critiques of Housing Renewal in Theory and in Practice
This article considers the experience of the English government's policy of Housing Market Renewal from the perspective of spatial justice. The paper first proposes an analytical framework that situates competing notions of territorial social justice within a space of complex sociospatial relations. The dialectic of two formulations of social justice is first set up, comparing ‘procedural’ or deontological forms of justice and the distributional justice of outcomes. Soja's formulation of spatial justice is advanced as an appropriate balance between spatial and socio-historic contexts for the justice question. Drawing on the literature on sociospatial relations, concrete critiques and justifications of HMR are then positioned in terms of the intersection of structuring principles and policy fields. The role of demolition in urban restructuring programmes is used to explore the differential spatialities involved in different justicial perspectives. It is concluded that ‘gentrification’ critiques of HMR are only partial in their evaluation of justice and lack normative power. Some practical implications for the design of urban restructuring policies are offered.
Volume (Year): 12 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
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