Pressure and violence : Housing renovation and displacement in Sweden

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Pressure and violence : Housing renovation and displacement in Sweden

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Pressure and violence : Housing renovation and displacement in Sweden
Author Baeten, Guy ; Westin, Sara ; Pull, Emil ; Molina, Irene
Date 2017
English abstract
Based on interview material relating to the current wave of housing renovation in Swedish cities, this article will analyse the profit-driven, traumatic and violent displacement in the wake of contemporary large-scale renovation processes of the so-called Million Program housing estates from the 1960s and 1970s. We maintain that the current form of displacement (through renovation) has become a regularized profit strategy, for both public and private housing companies in Sweden. We will pay special attention to Marcuse’s notion of ‘displacement pressure’ which refers not only to actual displacement but also to the anxieties, uncertainties, insecurities and temporalities that arise from possible displacement due to significant rent increases after renovation and from the course of events preceding the actual rent increase. Examples of the many insidious forms in which this pressure manifests itself will be given – examples that illustrate the hypocritical nature of much planning discourse and rhetoric of urban renewal. We illustrate how seemingly unspectacular measures and tactics deployed in the renovation processes have far-reaching consequences for tenants exposed to actual or potential displacement. Displacement and displacement pressure due to significant rent increases (which is profit-driven but justified by invoking the ‘technical necessity’ of renovation) undermines the ‘right to dwell’ and the right to exert a reasonable level of power over one’s basic living conditions, with all the physical and mental benefits that entails – regardless of whether displacement fears materialize in actual displacement or not.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0308518X16676271 (link to publisher's fulltext.)
Publisher Sage
Host/Issue Environment & Planning A;3
Volume 49
ISSN 0308-518X
Pages 631-651
Language eng (iso)
Subject Displacement
public housing
renovation
urban renewal
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/22238 Permalink to this page
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