'After we have become a ghetto': Dystopian place branding in disadvantaged neighbourhoods

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Leading Danish architects materialised modernistic utopian visions of the good life with community, equality, green surroundings, light and air in the great housing plans of the 1960s and 1970s. Today the very same areas with their seemingly monotonous rows of housing blocks are on the contrary linked to a powerful current dystopia: The ghetto. The undesirable and frightening – yet existing place, held to pose a potential thread to the social order of the surrounding society. From originally denominating a particular Jewish neighbourhood surrounded by walls, the ghetto-concept has in a Danish context evolved into a powerful political technology – fuelled by the so-called ’ghetto-list’ paving the way for thorough physical and social interventions. Buildings are demolished to ’open up the ghetto’, flats are merged to attract new groups of tenants, and housing areas are transformed and renamed in order to combat the tainted image. The paper analyse the impact of the ghetto-concept among tenants and other actors in a number of Danish neighbourhoods that have recently been regenerated. One the one hand side, they struggle with the territorial stigmatization (Wacquant 2007) inherent in being listed as a ghetto, but on the other hand side, they also appropriate the notion of the ghetto and use it strategically. The paper introduces the concept of ’dystopian place-branding’ and discusses, how place-making, political technology and the built materiality of architecture interact in dystopian brandscapes.
Publikationsdato17 aug. 2017
StatusUdgivet - 17 aug. 2017
BegivenhedMega Seminar Sandbjerg - Sandbjerg, Sønderborg, Danmark
Varighed: 16 aug. 201718 aug. 2017


KonferenceMega Seminar Sandbjerg