The overall aim of AGAPE is to explore and improve our knowledge of anti-gentrification practices as performed in the urban space of Southern European cities (SECs), specifically Rome, Madrid and Athens, with a particular focus on their incorporation into - and capabilities to inform - local policy makings. In SECs the effects of gentrification are now being exacerbated by the debt crisis and the consequential austerity behaviors of nation states. For this reason, SECs offer an opportune setting in which to study the relationship between gentrification and policy, as well as forms of resistance and alternative responses to gentrification. Empirical evidence suggests that there are emerging practices of reaction, and alternative solutions, to the hegemonic narrative of the “commodified city” in SECs that are directly addressing the broader issue of the habitability of the city. However, these practices appear to be fragmented and we lack systematic understanding of their potential and their capabilities in countering urban inequalities. As such anti-gentrification practices and policies performed in these three SECs will be investigated and compared in order to construct a model of territorial capacities: capacities to counter the hegemony of gentrification at this particular ‘political’ moment in time, by incorporating far sighted and socially just policies for the re-use of the material assets of these cities. Such an exploration will provide much needed theoretical and empirical material for a post-crisis urban agenda aimed at achieving social justice and equity. The findings of the research will inform an academic narrative of resistance that will highlight ‘alternative narratives’ based on counter-gentrification practices in these three cities. The research findings will be also rendered in forms of an anti-gentrification toolkit that will provide the basic tools that local communities can draw on to fight gentrification and concrete ideas for policy makers.
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