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Video abstract – “Rhetoric in the Representation of a Multi-Ethnic Neighbourhood: The Case of Via Padova, Milan”

Forthcoming in Antipode 48(4)* in September 2016, and available online now, Pietro Verga’s “Rhetoric in the Representation of a Multi-Ethnic Neighbourhood: The Case of Via Padova, Milan” contributes to the debate over immigration in European cities – a key topic in recent decades and, given the ongoing refugee crisis, something particularly pressing today. Pietro argues that:

In such debates the right-wing’s blemish of immigrants as the cause of neglect and urban insecurity frequently confronts with the left-wing’s claims for a better integration of these new populations. Nevertheless, the case study of Via Padova in Milan presented in this paper offers a prominent example of how, in Italy, the media and local politicians from opposite political sides have often represented and treated multi-ethnic neighbourhoods with an underlying revanchist attitude. It emerged that revanchism is not only a prerogative of the Right but it also informs leftist discourses, even when they are promoting an apparently more progressive and inclusive rhetoric. In the quest for a more just and equal city and society, this paper contributes to raising awareness on the need to go beyond rhetoric.

Now based at the Gran Sasso Science Institute, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, L’Aquila, Italy, Pietro was born and raised in Milano. He first approached urban regeneration issues in the early 2000s when as a junior political activist he was involved in projects for the re-use of abandoned industrial buildings as well as in several local struggles for the right-to-housing. He holds an MS in Urban Planning and Policy Design from the Polytechnic of Milan where his dissertation was on “Regenerating Via Padova: From a Lack of Policies to the Proposal of a Collaborative Policy”.

pietro vergaPietro has also been a Visiting Scholar at the Hunter College of the City University of New York, and is currently researching tools, strategies and policies capable of joining private investment with public and non-profit intervention in order to trigger non-mass-displacing regeneration processes within left-behind, low-income neighbourhoods – holding to Susan Fainstein’s Just City principles of equity, democracy and diversity.

Pietro’s work pays particular attention to the world of community development organizations and specifically to their governance frameworks, fundraising strategies and negotiation tools such as community organizing, mutual housing models, public subsidies and special credit tools, private funding-catalysts, and collaborative action of different kinds of actors within a trading zone. He can be contacted at

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*Antipode 48(4) is shaping up to be a great issue including the following papers (most of which are available online):

Unpacking “Accumulation By Dispossession”, “Fictitious Commodification”, and “Fictitious Capital Formation”: Tracing the Dynamics of Bahrain’s Land Reclamation

Omar Hesham AlShehabi and Dia Saleh

“Go get a job right after you take a bath”: Occupy Wall Street as Matter Out of Place

Matthew Bolton, Stephen Froese and Alex Jeffrey

Entrepreneurial Urbanism After the Crisis: Ireland’s “Bad Bank” and the Redevelopment of Dublin’s Docklands

Michael Byrne

Critical Geographies of Education Beyond “Value”: Moral Sentiments, Caring, and a Politics for Acting Differently

Yi’En Cheng

Contesting Neoliberal Urbanism in Glasgow’s Community Gardens: The Practice of DIY Citizenship

John Crossan, Andrew Cumbers, Robert McMaster and Deirdre Shaw

The “Blind” State: Government Quest for Formalization and Conflict with Small-Scale Miners in the Peruvian Amazon

Gerardo Hector Damonte Valencia

The Labor of (Re)reading Plantation Landscapes Fungible(ly)

Tiffany Lethabo King

Deserving Welcome? Immigrants, Christian Faith Communities, and the Contentious Politics of Belonging in the US South

Caroline Nagel and Patricia Ehrkamp

Between Water Abundance and Scarcity: Discourses, Biofuels, and Power in Piura, Peru

Patricia Urteaga Crovetto

Contesting the Divided City: Arts of Resistance in Skopje

Ophélie Véron

Ordinary Emergency: Drones, Police, and Geographies of Legal Terror

Tyler Wall

Rock Stars and Bad Apples: Moral Economies of Alternative Food Networks and Precarious Farm Work Regimes

Anelyse M. Weiler, Gerardo Otero and Hannah Wittman

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