Special Issue "Urban Inequality"

A special issue of Urban Science (ISSN 2413-8851).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2018).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Jesús Manuel González Pérez Website E-Mail
Research Group for Sustainability and Territory (GIST), Departament of Geography, University of the Balearic Islands, Guillem Colom Building, Cra. de Valldemossa km 7.5., 07122 Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
Interests: urban studies; urban planning; spatial planning; tourism; Europe; Caribbean; Latin America

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The city product of the crisis of 1973 is urbanistically extensive and socially unequal. One of the main problems of the recent process of urbanization is the increase of the polarization and the social inequalities in the inner city. About ten years ago, Michael Pacione (2005) characterized the postindustrial city by the coexistence of four main processes. One of them is the increase of the inequalities, the social and spatial segregation, the privatization of the urban space and increase of the defensible spaces. From an urbanistic point of view, the fragmentation of the urban form is a consequence of many of these processes and an increasingly palpable reality of the city of the 21st century.

The analysis of urban inequalities needs new analyzes and interpretations in recent years. The socio-urban consequences of the economic crisis and policies called post-crisis (or austerity) are transforming everyday life in cities around the world, with a special focus on countries of the Southern Europe. There are processes of impoverishment, increased vulnerability and social segregation, which is producing a new space order. The first public responses to the crisis were dominated by the impulse of neoliberal policies, which are aggravating socio-urban inequalities.

In this context, the objective of this Special Issue is to study inequalities in the city at different scales and in all territories, from informal settlements and the “urbanization of poverty” in the countries of the South to the fragmentation of the city, urban segregation or gentrification as global phenomena in the city of the 21st century.

Prof. Dr. Jesús M. González Pérez
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Urban Science is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • urban segregation;
  • gentrification;
  • urban fragmentation;
  • social polarization;
  • social vulnerability;
  • social exclusion;
  • gated communities;
  • evictions;
  • informal settlements

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Urban Inequality: The City after the 2007 Crisis
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(3), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2030062 - 31 Jul 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
After the impact of the 2007 crisis and post-crisis austerity policies, cities are being reconfigured under the auspices of inequality. Social divides are widening, and there is a growing population of excluded and poor people. The urban and welfare state crises of the [...] Read more.
After the impact of the 2007 crisis and post-crisis austerity policies, cities are being reconfigured under the auspices of inequality. Social divides are widening, and there is a growing population of excluded and poor people. The urban and welfare state crises of the 1980s are currently being replicated, albeit even more acutely, given that the welfare state in many countries is very weak and there are worrying signs of a crisis of democracy. In the present urban order of globalization, new players have emerged from the financial sector, including investment funds and the so-called vulture funds. Our contribution to this Special Issue is an analysis of urban inequality today based on theoretical and empirical research. The issue includes articles on social movements and resistance in Latin American cities, vulnerability in crisis-hit Spanish cities, and the segregation and quality of basic services in US cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Inequality) Printed Edition available

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Counter Land-Grabbing by the Precariat: Housing Movements and Restorative Justice in Brazil
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(2), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2020049 - 13 Jun 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Social housing movements in Brazil, whose majority members are part of Brazil’s precariat or lowest-income class, are courageously pressing for true urban reform in Brazil, whose old promise has been systematically delayed and subverted, even by some of those who were put in [...] Read more.
Social housing movements in Brazil, whose majority members are part of Brazil’s precariat or lowest-income class, are courageously pressing for true urban reform in Brazil, whose old promise has been systematically delayed and subverted, even by some of those who were put in power to realize it. By occupying vacant and underutilized land and buildings, not only are these movements confronting neoliberalism in Brazil at a time of the model’s highest level of hegemony in the country and the world, they are also unveiling the impossibility of the system to deliver sociospatial justice to the poor and are enacting an alternative. Through restorative justice practices, they go beyond critique and press for an alternate sociopolitical project that would allow millions of people in Brazil access to decent housing, and through it, to a myriad of other opportunities, including the right to the city. As shown in the experiences of those participating in housing struggles, restorative justice deserves further exploration as an alternative planning mode that can combine the strengths of advocacy planning and communicative action while reducing their drawbacks. These reflections focus on the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sen Teto (MTST) and partially feed from team ethnographic and planning studio work on several building and land occupations in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo in Brazil in 2016. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Inequality) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Urban Vulnerability in Spanish Medium-Sized Cities during the Post-Crisis Period (2009–2016). The Cases of A Coruña and Vigo (Spain)
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2020037 - 19 Apr 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
The economic crisis and post-crisis austerity policies have had harmful effects on urban spaces, mainly in those neighborhoods that have historically been characterized by their vulnerability (social problems, long-term unemployment, low incomes, immigration, etc.). This vulnerability has become more evident in cities that [...] Read more.
The economic crisis and post-crisis austerity policies have had harmful effects on urban spaces, mainly in those neighborhoods that have historically been characterized by their vulnerability (social problems, long-term unemployment, low incomes, immigration, etc.). This vulnerability has become more evident in cities that are greater in size (Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville). However, such casuistry is also observed in medium-sized cities (250,000–500,000 inhabitants) that are prominent urban and economic hubs in their regions. In this article we will analyze to what extent the crisis has impacted the different urban sectors through the analysis of degree of vulnerability. For this, the cities of A Coruña and Vigo—the two main urban poles of the Autonomous Region of Galicia—will be taken as case studies. In addition, we will analyze the proposals to combat vulnerability presented by the ruling parties in their programs for the 2015 municipal elections. Elections that in Spain marked a turning point in the form of governance and priorities to attend (attention to those most affected by the crisis, stop eviction processes, reduction of intra-urban inequality). We will analyze to what extent they have implemented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Inequality) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Social Resistances and the Creation of Another Way of Thinking in the Peripheral “Self-Constructed Popular Neighborhoods”: Examples from Mexico, Argentina, and Bolivia
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2010027 - 19 Mar 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study refers to urban social movements, creative social resistances, and the collectives that are emerging today in “self-constructed popular neighborhoods” (“barrios de auto-construcción popular” in Latin-American, Spanish bibliography; “quartiers d’auto-construction populaire” in French bibliography and “self-help housing” in Anglophone bibliography), with a [...] Read more.
This study refers to urban social movements, creative social resistances, and the collectives that are emerging today in “self-constructed popular neighborhoods” (“barrios de auto-construcción popular” in Latin-American, Spanish bibliography; “quartiers d’auto-construction populaire” in French bibliography and “self-help housing” in Anglophone bibliography), with a special focus on the new characteristics of these movements and the poetics of their daily practices. Firstly, a cartographic approach is explained through the concept of eco-landscapes; a qualitative analysis follows based on interviews and a review of the secondary literature. In particular, this research focuses on cases of movements and collectives in villas in South Greater Buenos Aires, barrios of Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl in the Metropolitan Area of Mexico City, and barrios of El Alto in the Metropolitan Area of La Paz. It shows that the poetics of creative resistances question the symbolic power of territorial stigmatization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Inequality) Printed Edition available
Open AccessCommunication
Urbanization and Inequality/Poverty
Urban Sci. 2017, 1(4), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci1040035 - 27 Nov 2017
Cited by 7
Abstract
The level of world urbanization has crossed the 50% mark, and nearly all future population growth is projected to occur in cities. Cities are disproportionately wealthy, but are associated with poverty, too. Addressing the dual challenges of urbanization and poverty is key to [...] Read more.
The level of world urbanization has crossed the 50% mark, and nearly all future population growth is projected to occur in cities. Cities are disproportionately wealthy, but are associated with poverty, too. Addressing the dual challenges of urbanization and poverty is key to achieving sustainable development. This paper performs cross-sectional regressions, based on Kuznets, as a starting point for understanding the relationship between urbanization and poverty/inequality indicators. Increases in gross domestic product per capita unambiguously lowered poverty and narrowed rural-urban gaps. By contrast, levels of urbanization were either unrelated to poverty/inequality indicators and measures of rural-urban gaps, or had a nonlinear effect where, initially, increases in urbanization likewise led to improvements in those areas, while at higher levels of urbanization, increases in urbanization exacerbated poverty and rural-urban gaps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Inequality) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle
City Sovereignty: Urban Resistance and Rebel Cities Reconsidered
Urban Sci. 2017, 1(3), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci1030022 - 23 Jun 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
The article argues for an increase in de facto already claimed city sovereignty. It situates the discussion, first in the historical context of city-state relationships, and second, in the current urban crises in the United States tied to the sanctuary city movement, then [...] Read more.
The article argues for an increase in de facto already claimed city sovereignty. It situates the discussion, first in the historical context of city-state relationships, and second, in the current urban crises in the United States tied to the sanctuary city movement, then examines legal grounds for devolution of power to cities, before discussing the legal concepts of “urban commons” and “city power”, finally outlining constraints facing increasingly sovereign cities. The article argues that current legal literature on “urban commons” and “city power” needs a stronger normative lens and better conceptualization of urban inequality, redistribution, and publicness. Moreover, if cities are to assume greater capacity to govern and to ensure life, liberty, and the sustainability of their populations, they have to overcome serious constraints in the four domains outlined in the article: (1) surveillance and control of urban space, (2) privatization of public space, (3) the rise of the luxury city, large-scale developments, megaprojects, and (4) homelessness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Inequality) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle
Historic Roots of Modern Residential Segregation in a Southwestern Metropolis: San Antonio, Texas in 1910 and 2010
Urban Sci. 2017, 1(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci1020019 - 01 Jun 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
This study seeks to understand the historic roots of modern segregation by comparing residential racial patterns in the city of San Antonio over time. The year 1910 is recreated for San Antonio by georeferencing and digitizing historic Sanborn maps and aligning residential structures [...] Read more.
This study seeks to understand the historic roots of modern segregation by comparing residential racial patterns in the city of San Antonio over time. The year 1910 is recreated for San Antonio by georeferencing and digitizing historic Sanborn maps and aligning residential structures with historical census and city directory race data for the head of household. The historical point data are aggregated to the census block level and compared to 2010 householder race data by calculating the two most common dimensions of residential segregation: evenness (dissimilarity and Theil’s index) and exposure (isolation and interaction). The findings reveal that by 1910 San Antonio was already a remarkably segregated city and the original patterns of residential segregation resemble contemporary San Antonio. Particularly, residential racial segregation in the Hispanic concentrated southwestern portion of the city has increased over time resulting in an exceptionally racially divided metropolis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Inequality) Printed Edition available
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Pipe Dreams: Urban Wastewater Treatment for Biodiversity Protection
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2010010 - 30 Jan 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Wastewater treatment systems in urban areas of the United States have reached a critical replacement age. From century-old, deteriorating systems raw sewage overflows into basements, streets and surface waters. In economically depressed cities, sewage overflows are frequent and heavily fined, costing municipalities millions [...] Read more.
Wastewater treatment systems in urban areas of the United States have reached a critical replacement age. From century-old, deteriorating systems raw sewage overflows into basements, streets and surface waters. In economically depressed cities, sewage overflows are frequent and heavily fined, costing municipalities millions of dollars. Pollution by untreated wastewater severely degrades aquatic and wetland ecosystems and exacerbates serious risks to public health. Necessary and extensive clean water infrastructure repairs are imperative to protect the health and habitat of humans and other organisms. As accelerating human development contributes to wide spread losses of naturally occurring wetlands, dwindling patches of habitat native plant and animal species rely on for survival are further threatened. Within this alarming situation is an opportunity to rebuild and retrofit our wastewater treatment systems with infrastructure that enhances long-term ecosystem sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Inequality) Printed Edition available
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