Urban Space, Pluralism and the Law

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The seminar focuses on the complex nexus between urban space and (different forms of) regulation. Looking at urban space through an institutional perspective, it is possible to ‘break up’ some dichotomies through which urban space is often interpreted. Two dichotomies in particular are taken into consideration. The first is ‘formal-informal’: the seminar will show how the threshold between formal and informal is often elastic and mobile, since a relationship between rule (formality) and violation (informality) is more complex than which is usually indicated. For instance, it concerns the fact that in many cases the law ‘even when violated’ has a certain cause-and-effect relation to the actions of the transgressor. The second is ‘public-private’: in fact, as regard to land ownership, the simplistic reduction into two models, the private model and the public model, without any further specification, proves insufficient when dealing with the issue of urban cohabitation. Actually, it is more fitting to speak of a plurality of property regimes in our cities, based not merely on different types of owners, but also on different ways of owning; each one is characterized by different kinds of rules that are enforced so as to regulate access to and behaviour within these spaces. The peculiarity of each property regime deeply affects urban life; for instance, it affects the ways in which the questions of urban toleration and pluralism are framed.

Francesco Chiodelli, Gran Sasso Science Institute
Wednesday May 27th – 2.30-5.30 pm, Aula Pietre, Palazzo di San Clemente, Via Micheli 2