The Game of Urban Regeneration
Culture & Community in London 2012 and Berlin's Mediaspree
Who wins and who loses in urban regeneration? What are the mechanisms at play?
Francesca Weber-Newth looks at two neighbourhoods that are adjacent to large-scale regeneration schemes: the 2012 Olympic park in London and the Mediaspree waterside development in Berlin. By analysing how urban regeneration is experienced on the ground, her study counters the notion that Olympic-led regeneration is any different from other forms of neoliberal urban development. Adopting Pierre Bourdieu's view of the social world as made up of competitive ›games‹, an analysis of the two neighbourhoods reveals how the concepts of ›culture‹ and ›community‹ are strategically employed in the ›game‹ of urban regeneration – to the benefit of some and the detriment of others.
»This is an important book that should be read by anyone interested in how large-scale urban interventions change the material and political shape of our cities. Studying how communities and the social spaces around major events are affected ‒ often in unexpected ways ‒ by them, Weber-Newth illuminates much about the characteristic unevenness around such ›megaevents‹.«
(Paul Jones, Senior Lecturer, Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology, Liverpool University)
»Francesca Weber-Newth's book provides a welcome and important addition to the existing critical urban studies' literature on contemporary regeneration. The book offers an adroit, rich and lively Bourdieusian-inspired deconstruction of ›culture‹ and ›community‹ in relation to London's 2012 Olympic Games and Berlin's Mediaspree.«
(Professor Paul Watt, Birkbeck, University of London)