The suburban question: grassroots politics and place making in Spanish suburbs

Phelps, N. A., Tarazona Vento, A. and Roitman, S. (2015) The suburban question: grassroots politics and place making in Spanish suburbs. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 33(3), pp. 512-532. (doi:10.1068/c13136)

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Manuel Castells spoke of the urban as a unit of collective consumption, yet much of the politics of collective consumption he documented was evident in the suburbs. The tendency for suburbs of most complexions to lack services and amenities has been and continues to be a focus of politics in Europe. In Spain, as elsewhere in Europe, a grassroots politics surrounding the making good of these deficits in basic services and amenities has broadened and formalised somewhat to become part of a competitive local representative politics concerned with shaping a sense of place. Here we consider this legacy of grassroots politics as it has played out more recently in a politics of place making in Getafe and Badalona in metropolitan Madrid and Barcelona, respectively. In conclusion, we suggest that this enduring suburban question—of making the suburban urban—places them at the centre of contemporary metropolitan governance and politics. However, it also raises further issues for study—notably, the scalar politics in which suburban place making is empowered or constrained, the role of political parties and individual politicians on the place-making process, and the point at which grassroots politics of collective consumption becomes urban entrepreneurialism.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Tarazona Vento, Dr Amparo
Authors: Phelps, N. A., Tarazona Vento, A., and Roitman, S.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1472-3425
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 Sage
First Published:First published in Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 33(3):512-532
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher policy

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