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The Revanchist Renewal of Yesterday's City of Tomorrow

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Abstract:

Abstract:  Although planned as the “City of Tomorrow”, the Bijlmer district in Amsterdam quickly became the quintessential symbol of urban decline. Today, even with half of the planned renewal of the Bijlmer completed, the alleged success of this urban revitalisation programme is questionable. Parts of the black middle class did not move out and some are even returning to the Bijlmer; the combination is producing a type of “black gentrification”, which forces the “undesirables” like drug users, homeless people and undocumented immigrants to leave. This revanchist renewal not only benefits the middle and lower‐class population of the district, but it also serves the interests of private developers. European revanchism makes the city safe for corporate investment and aims to restore social order as well as stimulating the development of a strong middle class. This paper demonstrates how hard revanchist policies are demanded not only by private developers but also by the middle and lower classes, and they exist alongside soft “caring” policies, even for the “undesirables”.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8330.2010.00817.x

Affiliations: Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands;

Publication date: November 1, 2011

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