‘Ghetto’ Ecologies in the Neoliberal City: From Citizen Power to Ritualised Resistance in Danish Non-Profit Housing

University essay from Lunds universitet/Kulturgeografi och ekonomisk geografi; Lunds universitet/Humanekologi

Abstract: This thesis demonstrates how neoliberal urbanism has unrolled in the context of the Danish non-profit housing sector, using the case of Copenhagen neighbourhood Tingbjerg as a case study. Arguing that this process has significantly altered the relations of power within the neighbourhood, it further investigates the mode of resistance emerging locally as a response. Danish non-profit housing has been subject to the controversial ‘ghetto plan’, leading to the emergence of a national-scale movement against this stigmatising plan that, under the pretext of confronting integration problems, effectively results in the commodification of non-profit housing. Meanwhile, the case of local-scale resistance studied in this thesis is argued to constitute a form of ‘ritualised mode of resistance’ that while attempting to gain influence over the development of Tingbjerg, operates within the logic of the established order embodied in the ghetto plan. This indicates a socio-ecological configuration that is shifting from the institutionally secured citizen-power inherent to the tenant democracy of the non-profit housing sector, to a human-(urban)nature configuration characterised by top-down inclusivity measures. The thesis further aims toward bringing housing into Urban Political Ecology, arguing that the studied case may shed light on future just and sustainable socioecological configurations in cities.

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