Urban safety and security represent a series of problems dealing with social, anthropological, economical, perceptual and physical problems that are specific to different territories and contexts and do not allow for general solutions. A large part of manifestations of social disease are connected with the perception of an increase in criminal phenomena which brings to the definition of modern society as a “risk society”. If on the one hand governance strategies mix repressive treatment of safety emergencies with security actions aimed at prevention and rehabilitation, on the other hand private, communal, local interventions against insecurity are progressively growing.Nowadays we could say that the way the upper class reproduces itself is deeply entangled with ideas of risk and safety. Daniel Goldstein, for instance, has recently defined the “rise of the security paradigm as a framework for organizing contemporary social life”. Given the worldwide growing economic gap between the lower and the upper classes, our research aims at highlighting how a sense of ‘safety’ and ‘security’ is perceived and reproduced by these classes and how it modifies the urban territory. On the one hand, we intend to detect eventual prejudices in the perception of risk and safety and on the other hand we aim to make specific urban trends ‘recognizable’ and ‘manageable’ by local institutions. We aim at focusing the attention on the different strategies (from material to immaterial) of appropriation and defence of space, that the higher classes have developed in order to create a secure, comfortable environment for them, their families and businesses, both in gated communities and in the consolidation phase of gentrification processes. The final objective is to understand if a sense of safety and security can be produced with other means than building physical obstacles and barriers that result in a highly divided city.
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