A Study of Four European Neighbourhoods

, par  Yankel Fijalkow

This article shows the creation of a vernacular heritage, primarily discursive, in four inner-city working-class European neighbourhoods undergoing gentrification.

It is a survey conducted from 2013 to 2015 in the framework of a European research programme — REV, acronym for ‘Rester En (centre) Ville’ (Stay in the city [centre]) — among 250 inhabitants of neighbourhoods subjected to various stages of gentrification processes in Lisbon, Vienna, Brussels and Paris. In order to collect and identify this material we have carried out an ethnographic study of the places through observations in daily spaces and semi-structured interviews of inhabitants and users from these neighbourhoods as well as representatives from local associations. Narratives can be considered as part of the heritage, and tools for resistance to gentrification. They express the ‘commons’ of populations mobilizing, in addition to their individual and collective memory and their experience of the territory. They reveal the diversity of positioning faced with the dynamic of gentrification, particularly the way discourses and narratives on the neighbourhoods enable people to live in them and to overcome their daily ordeals and to implement togetherness. Keywords : Urban narratives, gentrification, heritage, neighbourhoods.

With Claire Levy-Vroelant