The Right to the City: Daily Practices of Youth and Participation in the Production of Urban Space

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14515/monitoring.2020.3.1597

Keywords:

city, right to the city, daily practices, participation, youth

Abstract

The study highlights realization of the right to the city based on the youth’s assessments of a large industrial city through the prism of daily activities and participation in the production and reproduction of urban space. City as a “habitat” is a place for behavioral practices and interactions of young people; participation in the production of urban space makes young people themselves change: they start to take responsibility for their community and implementation of life plans. This is an empirical study (Yekaterinburg, 2019) using a multimethod strategy. A total of 750 young respondents aged 18-30 were surveyed (questionnaire survey, quota-based selection). To process the data SPSS software was used. To investigate the in-depth needs of young people 22 semi-structured interviews involving 15 female and 7 male participants were carried out. Ten experts (youth project specialists/managers, scientific community) were surveyed.

The results show that in a situation of stable existence with no pronounced intervention from public or regional bodies in the domains perceived by young people as strictly their personal or socially relevant, only 5% of respondents consider their participation in the urban management as an integral part of their life. Based on the qualitative analysis the authors draw three models of youth behavior whenever any discrepancies arise between the city administration and urban dwellers eager to use their right to the city: a non-intervention model, a model of sincere participation, and an escapism model. Emotive aspect of city’s appropriation leads to a feeling of belonging to the city and inextricability of a person’s fate and a city’s fate. This manifests itself through language patterns; the city becomes more personalized; it is spoken of as a person. The findings of the study point to a transition from the consumption of space to its production through innovative and creative practices instead of habitual and stereotyped patterns. One of modern practices is DIY initiatives which appear to be interesting to more than half of respondents.

Acknowledgments. The study is funded by RFBR and Sverdlovsk oblast as part of the project no. 20-411-660012 р_а “The Right to the City: Social Activity, Mobilization and Participation of Youth”; RFBR and the Expert Institute for Social Research (no. 19-011-31151).

Author Biographies

Natalya L. Antonova, Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin

  • Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin, Yekaterinburg, Russia
    • Dr. Sci. (Soc.), Professor at the Department of Applied Social Studies

Sofya B. Abramova, Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin

  • Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin, Yekaterinburg, Russia
    • Cand. Sci. (Soc.), Associate Professor at the Department of Applied Social Studies

Viktoria V. Polyakova, Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin

  • Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin, Yekaterinburg, Russia
    • Cand. Sci. (Soc.), Associate Professor at the Department of Applied Social Studies

Published

2020-07-07