For the City? The Difficult Spaces of Market Restructuring Policy
Market restructuring policies have proved controversial and been subject to academic critique on a number of fronts. This paper considers the role that the inherent spatial tensions captured within these initiatives have played, both in terms of their troubled implementation but more specifically in how aspects of the conceptual debates surrounding their nature and intent have been framed. In particular, I focus on assertions that such programmes, in their alignment to housing market geographies, and an analytical discourse that relates the ‘parts’ to the ‘whole’ across subregional, metropolitan spaces, were ‘for the city (or, rather, the urban elites that govern cities)’ (Allen, 2010). While such positions have appropriately reasserted the disjuncture between the ‘space of positions’ of households and those of housing markets, they risk ceding consideration of the competing importance of ‘more-than-local’ spaces in terms of shaping and addressing other equity concerns. They have also firmly aligned the role of urban policy, ‘state’ intervention and practice with elite imperatives. In working through these spatial tensions, I draw upon recent critical perspectives -- including Right to the City debates -- to reflect upon the challenge of keeping open our engagement and commitment to citywide geographies as part of negotiating the continual and ongoing tensions across different spatial scales.
Volume (Year): 12 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
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