The focus on the role of luxury projects in urban transformations is introduced with reference to two specific geographies recognizable in the Milan Urban Region. The first geography refers to consolidated urban fabrics where luxury projects create small-scale conversions and micro gentrification on a block or house basis, replacing older housing and shopping stock with new-built luxury developments. The second geography is characterized by exclusive segregated districts where luxury projects create new urban centralities for leisure activities or residential gated communities. In order to propose a taxonomy, these two geographies are used to identify the main features of the heterogeneous and episodic processes of urban transformation driven by luxury projects and to discuss the challenges and consequences for the constitutive dimensions of urbanity in a specific urban context like the Milan Urban Region (in Section 2). While these geographies of luxury projects represent only a small fraction of overall building activity, identifying ideal-typical models of luxury development makes it possible to reflect on what conceptions of urbanity are generated by these micro-scale transformations, as well as on how to integrate luxury into urban policies (Section 3) in order to enhance the positive effects of private investments undertaken to guarantee exclusive privileges and, at the same time, in order to assess the "flip side" of luxury (i.e. gentrification processes, selection of urban populations and urban practices, transformation in the times of use of urban places). In our approach, the reorganization of spaces through luxury developments is read from two viewpoints: as an attempt ‘to produce and regulate particular behaviours and subjectivities’ (Huxley, 2006; 772) by introducing social separation and intensified security architectures; but, at the same time, as an opportunity to re-shape urban neighbourhoods and also to be used for real estate development purposes. The rest of the chapter is structured as follows. In Section 1, we propose two specific geographies of urban luxury projects and their main features in terms of scales of urban transformation and effects on open spaces. Then, in Section 2 we test the ideal-typical models of luxury projects on our case study represented by the Milan Urban Region. Lastly, in the conclusion (Section 3) we reflect on the policy implications from two perspectives. The first concerns the conditions associated with the concepts of urbanity and publicness, and with them the role of the local authority in shaping public access to services and open spaces that have been privatized by growing private ownership. The second perspective concerns the relationship between the molecular transformations driven by private capital and the ability to bring them within a strategic framework in which the link between private exploitation and the common good is not lost.

Two Geographies of luxury projects. Opportunities, Risks and Challenges for Public policies

PUCCI, PAOLA;FINI, GIULIA
2018

Abstract

The focus on the role of luxury projects in urban transformations is introduced with reference to two specific geographies recognizable in the Milan Urban Region. The first geography refers to consolidated urban fabrics where luxury projects create small-scale conversions and micro gentrification on a block or house basis, replacing older housing and shopping stock with new-built luxury developments. The second geography is characterized by exclusive segregated districts where luxury projects create new urban centralities for leisure activities or residential gated communities. In order to propose a taxonomy, these two geographies are used to identify the main features of the heterogeneous and episodic processes of urban transformation driven by luxury projects and to discuss the challenges and consequences for the constitutive dimensions of urbanity in a specific urban context like the Milan Urban Region (in Section 2). While these geographies of luxury projects represent only a small fraction of overall building activity, identifying ideal-typical models of luxury development makes it possible to reflect on what conceptions of urbanity are generated by these micro-scale transformations, as well as on how to integrate luxury into urban policies (Section 3) in order to enhance the positive effects of private investments undertaken to guarantee exclusive privileges and, at the same time, in order to assess the "flip side" of luxury (i.e. gentrification processes, selection of urban populations and urban practices, transformation in the times of use of urban places). In our approach, the reorganization of spaces through luxury developments is read from two viewpoints: as an attempt ‘to produce and regulate particular behaviours and subjectivities’ (Huxley, 2006; 772) by introducing social separation and intensified security architectures; but, at the same time, as an opportunity to re-shape urban neighbourhoods and also to be used for real estate development purposes. The rest of the chapter is structured as follows. In Section 1, we propose two specific geographies of urban luxury projects and their main features in terms of scales of urban transformation and effects on open spaces. Then, in Section 2 we test the ideal-typical models of luxury projects on our case study represented by the Milan Urban Region. Lastly, in the conclusion (Section 3) we reflect on the policy implications from two perspectives. The first concerns the conditions associated with the concepts of urbanity and publicness, and with them the role of the local authority in shaping public access to services and open spaces that have been privatized by growing private ownership. The second perspective concerns the relationship between the molecular transformations driven by private capital and the ability to bring them within a strategic framework in which the link between private exploitation and the common good is not lost.
Making Prestigious Places: How Luxury Influences the Transformation of Cities
9781138232525
luxury projects, Milan Urban Region, urban projects, urban policy, urban design, patterns, gentrification
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1027418
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