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Authors:Christope Foultier: Linköping University, Sweden
Publication title:Empowering the Unprivileged: The Case of Self-renovation in Disadvantaged Areas
Conference:Current Issues in European Cultural Studies, June 15–17, Norrköping, Sweden 2011
Publication type: Abstract and Fulltext
Article No.:058
Abstract:In the 90’s, several European governments promoted the involvement of inhabitants as an important condition of success in urban regeneration projects. The dialogue with inhabitants was supposed to strengthen a collective movement in the neighbourhoods, to restore social and territorial cohesion and create a local identity among the residents of disadvantaged areas. However, a number of issues can be raised regarding this policy: the commitment of the inhabitants in the decision-making process is difficult to ascertain, especially throughout the whole duration of the project, and in relation to the management of the different stages of the project; it is not always easy to achieve consensus, etc. In particular, it is hard for the project managers to involve the most unprivileged groups, notably people suffering from a combination of social, legal and financial problems. The stake here is not simply their participation in a project, but more specifically their “empowerment”. In this framework, the methods of the French non-profit organization Les Compagnons Bâtisseurs are instructive. They provide micro solutions to people living in poor housing conditions through the conception and the implementation of a self-renovation process. The organization proposes technical and financial support so that the most disadvantaged groups can renovate their flats. However, the goal is not only to ameliorate the material living conditions; through the organization of workshops in the neighbourhood, the participation of the inhabitants in the renovation work, the coordination between the team of Compagnons Bâtisseurs and social workers, the social inclusion of the most unprivileged groups can be promoted.
No. of pages:7
Series:Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
ISSN (print):1650-3686
ISSN (online):1650-3740
Publisher:Linköping University Electronic Press, Linköpings universitet

Christope Foultier (2011). Empowering the Unprivileged: The Case of Self-renovation in Disadvantaged Areas, Current Issues in European Cultural Studies, June 15–17, Norrköping, Sweden 2011;article=058 (accessed 9/23/2014)