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Title: The game of urban regeneration : culture & community in London 2012 and Berlin's Mediaspree
Author: Weber-Newth, Francesca
ISNI:       0000 0004 5368 1751
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis explores who 'wins' and 'loses' in urban regeneration, and the mechanisms behind this process. I take a comparative approach, focusing on two neighbourhoods – Hackney Wick Fish Island and Rudolfkiez – that are adjacent to the large-scale regeneration schemes London 2012 and Mediaspree in Berlin. By analysing how urban regeneration is experienced on the ground, my aim is to disrupt the notion that Olympic-led regeneration is any different from other forms of neoliberal urban development. I adopt Pierre Bourdieu's view of the social world as made up of competitive 'games' to demonstrate that urban regeneration is a game with winners and losers in which language constructions play a decisive role. I use the lenses of 'culture' and 'community' to analyse the dynamics of urban regeneration by documenting how the two concepts are strategically employed, and who has a monopoly over 'legitimate' definitions. I draw on a mixed methodology, including interviews, visual methods, document analysis and participant observation. Analysis of the empirical data demonstrates that despite significantly different historical contexts, political ideologies and fiscal climates, the power dynamics of urban development converge in Berlin and London. My analysis shows that, while there is a tendency for 'the winners to keep winning and the losers to keep losing', protest networks and critical artistic practices can change the language of the game and therefore have the potential to shift the dominant neoliberal logic. My aim is to reveal these subtleties and nuances of the game.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Aberdeen ; Berlin House of Representatives
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Urban renewal