During the last decades, at the beginning of the 21st century, an increase in inequality has been detected, related to post-industrial socioeconomic restructuring, the effects of globalization, the application of neoliberal policies and the progressive decline of the welfare state. On the road to the horizon of the city 2030, there has been a turbulent period marked by economic crises, climate change, the transformation of energy models, natural disasters, epidemics and health pandemics, migratory movements and armed conflicts. All these factors are conditioning the evolution of urban spaces, whose structures are progressively transforming and new social maps are emerging. In fact, inequality and its various spatial manifestations, including urban fragmentation and residential segregation, have become one of the most important issues in the analysis of contemporary cities. However, there are still many unknowns about these phenomena, the factors that cause them and their consequences. There is therefore a wide field of work for the development of urban studies.
The relationships between inequality, segregation and fragmentation are extremely complex and in no case are they univocal. Socio-spatial differentiation requires a multidimensional analysis, since urban inequalities manifest themselves in many different ways and in different dimensions. These aspects are not only reflected in the structure of cities, but are also beginning to be present in urban agendas and policies as strategic elements of management and planning: households and families, housing, work, income, mobility, access to services, energy transition, climate change, sustainability… However, the processes of social and economic division within urban spaces depend not only on structural elements related to the transformation of post-industrial society, but are also deeply linked to the historical, social, political, economic and contextual conditions of each territory.
The recent processes of suburbanization, socio-demographic changes and morphological transformations that cities have undergone have had an impact on a reordering of social mosaics, resulting in a change of territorial scale and greater internal complexity. It is not only a question of the spatial distribution of the different socio-demographic groups in the urban structure, but processes of social, physical, morphological and symbolic fragmentation are beginning to be detected. We are witnessing an emerging social rupture of urban spaces, which requires a slow analysis of this process at the social, spatial and temporal levels. It is necessary to identify the trajectories of these new social separations and to discern the multiple edges of the process of socio-spatial differentiation, its manifestation in residential segregation and its translation to the urban structure through the emergence of fragmentation dynamics.
In relation to these issues, the journal Ciudades opens a call for papers for the monographic section of its 28th issue, which aims to address how the processes of residential fragmentation and segregation are expressed in different socio-cultural contexts and at different urban scales, from metropolitan areas to medium-sized cities. Studies should consider the manifestations of urban fragmentation, from the perspective of physical, morphological, housing and social divisions. Likewise, analyses can be developed on the different typologies of residential segregation, according to their demographic and socioeconomic factors and conditioning factors. Also of special interest are those proposals that consider the presence of these issues in urban policies and agendas and their instrumentalization, in order to address the effects they are currently generating in cities, as well as proposals for future lines of intervention. It is considered opportune to open a space for dialogue and reflection to conceptualize and map the geography of these urban inequalities and their new manifestations.
From such perspectives, a call is made to encourage the study of emerging social ruptures in urban spaces. Research papers are invited to identify, quantify and characterize them from different approaches (social, housing, spatial and/or temporal). Research papers are also invited considering the manifestations of urban inequality, segregation or fragmentation in all its dimensions and new perspectives: that is, in relation to income conditions, levels of education, nationality, ethnicity, age, gender, socio-professional qualifications, family or household composition, degree of occupation, housing characteristics, morphological or architectural constraints… and any other aspect that explains the recent reconfiguration of socio-residential structures. It is also considered of interest the study of the multiplying and cumulative result that these dynamics cause, generating processes such as the so-called “neighborhood effect”.
The contribution of works that study residential segregation and urban fragmentation through open and integrative perspectives is valued. It is not only a matter of analyzing vulnerability or segregation in the most disadvantaged groups. It is also of great interest to know the segregation patterns of high-income groups and their spatial manifestations. The aim is to add more layers to the traditional economic explanations of these processes based essentially on the analysis of capital and income. We also consider sending studies on residential micro-segregation, descending in scale to the block, block or building dimension. Studies that address the existence of barriers that define units of urban fragmentation, from physical, formal, symbolic or architectural perspectives, are also appropriate. Approaches that seek to understand the spatiality of differentiated daily practices of spatio-temporal use in urban spaces are also appropriate. Time-space trajectories constitute spatial patterns of life of each subject, although they also mark behavioral patterns that are determined by multiple social aspects, group membership, identities, ideologies, behaviors and other cultural, political and economic aspects. The understanding of this spatial everyday life of social groups is essential to draw the map of urban fragmentation.
This call for the monographic section of the 28th issue of Ciudades magazine is conceived as an opportunity to apply complementary approaches and methodologies (quantitative and qualitative), at different scales, from the dimension of urban areas to municipalities, cities, neighborhoods, blocks or buildings. And it is proposed as a call for works to contribute to enrich the knowledge and the increasingly broader trajectories of the socio-spatial separations in the cities of the beginning of the 21st century. It seeks, in short, the enriching possibility of obtaining a more systemic and multidimensional understanding of the complex processes of segregation and contemporary urban fragmentation.
The text of the call can be downloaded here.
Coordination of the monographic section:
Gonzalo Andrés López, Universidad de Burgos, email@example.com
Carme Bellet Sanfeliu, Universitat de Lleida, firstname.lastname@example.org
Francisco Cebrián Abellán, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Francisco.Cebrian@uclm.es
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