The expression “urban fragmentation” is increasingly used to depict a process of socio-spatial splintering which is thought to be underway in both developing and post-industrialised countries. Despite its frequent recurrence, however, interpretations fluctuate between spatial, sociological, economic and cultural approaches that lack a sound analytical ground. The paper attempts to fill this gap by investigating the heuristic power of an economic-institutional approach. In this view, urban fragmentation appears as the final break in a process of progressive socio-spatial exclusion within the urban fabric, through which the urban space splits into parts that fall under the rule of different institutions. After showing that the process takes shape in different ways in developed and developing countries, the paper argues that long-term trends converge towards a common outcome, inside which there may well be room for criminal institutions to establish. As a consequence, policies aiming at coping with urban fragmentation have, firstly, to integrate the institutional dimension with the usual socio-economic and spatial ones and, secondly, to perform differently according to the stage of the process and the scale of its causes and effects.

URBAN FRAGMENTATION: THE SEARCH FOR AN ANALYTICAL FRAME

CUSINATO, AUGUSTO
2014

Abstract

The expression “urban fragmentation” is increasingly used to depict a process of socio-spatial splintering which is thought to be underway in both developing and post-industrialised countries. Despite its frequent recurrence, however, interpretations fluctuate between spatial, sociological, economic and cultural approaches that lack a sound analytical ground. The paper attempts to fill this gap by investigating the heuristic power of an economic-institutional approach. In this view, urban fragmentation appears as the final break in a process of progressive socio-spatial exclusion within the urban fabric, through which the urban space splits into parts that fall under the rule of different institutions. After showing that the process takes shape in different ways in developed and developing countries, the paper argues that long-term trends converge towards a common outcome, inside which there may well be room for criminal institutions to establish. As a consequence, policies aiming at coping with urban fragmentation have, firstly, to integrate the institutional dimension with the usual socio-economic and spatial ones and, secondly, to perform differently according to the stage of the process and the scale of its causes and effects.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11578/218696
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