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Class, Citizenship and Regeneration: Glasgow and the CWGs 2014 Dr Kim McKee Department of Geography & Sustainable Development University of St Andrews.

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Presentation on theme: "Class, Citizenship and Regeneration: Glasgow and the CWGs 2014 Dr Kim McKee Department of Geography & Sustainable Development University of St Andrews."— Presentation transcript:

1 Class, Citizenship and Regeneration: Glasgow and the CWGs 2014 Dr Kim McKee Department of Geography & Sustainable Development University of St Andrews (Paper co-authored with Dr Kirsteen Paton, University of Glasgow & Dr Gerry Mooney, Open University Scotland)

2 Outline Introduction (thesis of the paper) Classed Relations of Urban Regeneration Citizenship & the Flawed Consumer Regeneration as Gentrification Case Study of CWGs 2014 Conclusion & Questions

3 Introduction Advances critical exploration of current tenets of urban regeneration through focus on CWGs 2014: Central role of class in regeneration narratives Targeting of problem people & problem places To be reconstructed as consumer-citizens

4 Large-scale flagship events one way to challenge flawed consumption (CWGs one example) Explore ways in which CWGs seen as deconstructing/reconstructing working-class lives Emphasis on consumer-citizenship denies participation & disadvantages those who cannot afford to consume Synthesize insights from gentrification literature & Foucauldian literature on neo-liberal governmentalities

5 Classed Relations of Urban Regeneration Urban regeneration as a classed practice: Concerned with regulation, management, control & social reproduction of particular populations Class often neglected in the urban literature, or when not being denied, exist as problems or victims Presumption many social problems in Britain found primarily in working-class estates (see, Damer 1989)

6 Apparent when narratives around crisis of welfare mobilised – Broken Society contemporary example Class replaced/displaced by narratives around moralised differences/boundaries/binaries These moral geographies spatialised – particular classes become associated with particular places (Skeggs 2004) Social housing estates generally imagined as other spaces

7 …council housing is a living tomb. You dare not give up the house because you might never get another, but staying is to be trapped in a ghetto of both place and mind (Will Hutton 2007) Many social housing estates that were once well functioning working class communities, with a range of people on different incomes, have become, in many inner city areas, ghettos of the poorest and neediest people (Housing & Dependency Working Group 2008: 7)

8 Citizenship & the Flawed Consumer Bauman (1998) asserts consumption is now the defining feature of our post-modern society Rose (2000) argues this reconfiguration of state-citizen relations represent a new politics of conduct Civilizing project aimed at reconciling individual conduct with moral discourses of responsible behaviour Individual welfare & success hinges upon the ability of citizen-consumers to participate in the labour market & enterprise their own lives

9 Twin processes of empowerment & responsibilisation Defining feature of the New Labour government welfare reforms Remains strong under current UK coalition (Broken Society) Political rhetoric of self-help & individualism has a long history Currently Big Society in vogue

10 Not just about accessing consumption, but expectation individuals will direct acts of consumption themselves Reflects conditional nature of citizenship: stigmatisation of those who cannot undertake normalised acts Ability to consume has become an important marker of distinction Not only legitimates exclusion, but also creates dividing practices

11 Image often conjured up is that of the problem social housing estate Policy & political discourses link homeownership with desirable & responsible self-conduct Housing consumption important point of distinction between successful & flawed consumers Serves to mobilise cultural stereotypes about homeowners & social renters

12 BUT a major limitation of the consumer-citizenship literature is lack of explicit class analysis (Kerr 1999) Reflects Foucauldian origins of this argument; focuses on subject formation & governing beyond the state Study of gentrification looks at similar neighbourhood based processes through geographic dynamics of capital accumulation & supporting consumption practices BUT in a way which is intrinsically classed

13 Regeneration as Gentrification Gentrification debates traditionally underpinned by Marxist (Smith 1996; Harvey 1982) & Liberal Humanist accounts (Ley 1996) Offers discrete economic & cultural explanations of class transformations of neighbourhoods Economic: identifies a rent-gap, which describes difference in value of inner city land & its potential value if regenerated Cultural: back to the city movement of middle-class suburban dwellers, born out of consumption practices Either way – process of class restructuring born out at the neighbourhood level

14 Role of the state recognised as increasingly important (Hackworth 2002; Slater 2006) Recognition of fiscal benefit of attracting people & capital to areas for competitive advantages: Towards an Urban Renaissance (1999) People and Place (2006) Described by Hackworth (2002) as the creation of space for the more affluent user Effects upon & experiences of working-class residents often absent

15 Exception to this is recent work by Uitermark et al (2007) – gentrification a strategy to govern: Policy-led gentrification does not have an immediate profit nor necessarily lead to direct displacement Additional objective: to civilise unruly populations in declined areas Used by local states to reshape relationship between state & citizens (manage not displace w/c populations)

16 Synergies in these debates Both Foucauldian & gentrification debates reveal: Regeneration strategies are a form of urban restructuring born out of neo-liberalism Involve two key components of governance: Marketisation & growth focused strategy of the state Expansion of community & individual participation & citizenship via consumption Social interventions which other the practices & behaviours of w/c communities

17 Glasgow 2014: festival of consumption? On November CWGs Federation chose Glasgow as host city for 2014 Games [the CWGs will] bring a host of benefits to Glasgow and Scotland, including everything from regeneration, job creation, inward investment and just a huge pride in being Scottish (Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister) Not alone in arguing CWGs would transform Glasgows East End (where new facilities & village located)


19 After several decades of neglect & failure, East End & its population now has key role in citys eco prosperity The economic position of the East End remains poor … A complex set of factors combine to limit progress. The area continues to have high levels and concentrations of poverty and low levels of economic activity, and its residents suffer from poor health, significantly affecting their economic potential. The area still houses some of the poorest communities in the UK and contains high levels of derelict and contaminated land currently unusable for economic activity (East End Partnership, undated, page 5)


21 Alongside available brown-field sites for property development, also offers a large reserve arms of labour To transform this area, however, also means concerted political & policy effort to transform the local populous Challenging welfarism & offering other legitimated forms of consumption pivotal Strategy premised on particular understandings of – and prejudices around – disadvantaged w/c of Glasgow

22 Importance of Glasgows East End Key locale during Glasgows second city era in late 19thC/early 20thC Decline of Empire coupled with successive ravages of de-industrialization & disinvestment = unemployment, poverty & other social ills East End occupies a particular role in dominant policy & urban renewal discourses surrounding Glasgow: Glasgow the vibrant post-industrial city Holding back Glasgow & Scotland of the future

23 Role of sporting events in relation to urban economies has been recognised for some time Major role in urban governance seen in the augmentation of partnership & coalitions for growth Focus on long-term legacies rather than short-term fixes Language of legacy belongs to family of effects & outcomes common in regeneration policy discourses

24 Key aspect of the legacy for Glasgows CWGs is place- specific Wide-ranging & relate to outcomes for health, education, employment & sustainability: An Active Scotland, a Connected Scotland, A Sustainable Scotland and a Flourishing Scotland represent our ambitions for a lasting and positive legacy. [The CWGs] are about making faster progress towards a healthier nation; developing healthy communities; and a strong and flourishing economy (SG 2009: 6)

25 Specific, localised interventions, targeted on Glasgow East Large cluster of venues (Athletes Village, Velodrome, National Indoor Sporting Arena) be located there Co-ordinated by the Clyde Gateway Urban Regeneration Company; promise creation of a dynamic and sought after city centre location Improved transport links to rest of city & beyond (new M74 motorway & EE Regeneration Road Route)




29 Latest phase of Glasgows renaissance & key element to develop Glasgow/Scotland as top tourist destination Glasgows image, worldwide reputation and civic pride will be strengthened as a result of hosting the Games. The city will be showcased at its very best to hundreds of thousands of visitors and hundreds of millions of TV viewers worldwide. We already have an enviable reputation for staging major sporting events and a successful Games will cement our position as a top destination (GCC 2009: 14)

30 Creation of a sustainable, vibrant new neighbourhood also central to legacy commitments (SG 2009: 33) Post-Games, Athletes Village will be converted into a new mixed-tenure residential community Planned projections for social housing higher for 2014 than previous CWGs However, new development unaffordable for low- income East Enders & already = displacement Legacy not equally felt by all of those residents remaining in the East End

31 and-struggle/


33 Problematising Legacy Highlights problem with using the language of legacy – nebulous & opaque International evidence highlights some limited success in relation to tourism & branding In the main not very tangible, esp primary stated social benefits pertaining to sport & health (Coalter 2004) Forecloses idea there might be negative impacts, contestation or resistance locally(Cashman 2009)

34 Porter (2009) underlines that displacement is the defining feature of mega-sporting events COHRE (2007) report suggests large sporting-events are often catalysts for redevelopment entailing massive displacements and reductions in low cost and social housing stock, all of which result in significant decreases in housing affordability (p11) Already evident in London & Glasgow prior to the Games getting underway (see Porter 2009)

35 Conclusion: a post-welfare East End? Anything new in developments highlighted here? Would suggest there are some significant changes with the past: Need to re-connect marginal communities Clear social element inherent in current strategies Central to the CWGs 2014 is the normalisation of the East End (and its population!)

36 Concern to promote tenure-mix & enable private sector penetration local services = transform local aspirations Workfare, employability, privatisation & regeneration are entangled in a neo-liberal assault on welfarism As Porter (2009: 395) as highlighted displacement is a defining feature of the mega-event Although not on the scale of Dehli, it has real, personal consequences for those affected

37 As Harvey (2005) reminds us, neoliberalism is above all a class project Disadvantaged working class lives are seen as problematic Out of step with the new and modern Glasgow and Scotland Ignores roots causes of poverty in society

38 Questions? A full copy of the paper is available on request; will soon be published online: Paton, K; Mooney, G; and McKee, K. (In Press) Class, Citizenship and Regeneration: Glasgow and the Commonwealth Games 2014, Antipode.

39 Reference List Bauman, Z. (1998) Work, Consumerism and the New Poor. Buckingham: Open University Press. Cashman, R. (2003) What is Olympic legacy?, in: M. Moragas, C. Kennett & N. Puig (eds) The Legacy of the Olympic Games, 1984– 2000 (pp 31–42). Lausanne: IOC. Coalter, F. (2004) Stuck in the blocks? A sustainable sporting legacy. In A. Vigor, M. Mean and C. Tims (eds) After the Gold Rush: A Sustainable Olympics for London (pp 93–108). London: IIPR and Demos. Clyde Gateway (undated) A Dynamic City Location: Clyde Gateway City Plan [online], available at: COHRE (Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions) (2007) Fair Play for Housing Rights: Mega-Events, Olympic Games and Housing Rights, available at:

40 Damer, S. (1989) From Moorepark to Wine Alley. Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh. Glasgow City Council (2009) A Games Legacy for Glasgow, Glasgow: GCC. Hackworth, J. (2002) Post-recession gentrification in New York City. Urban Affairs Review, 37: Harvey, D. (1982) The Limits to Capital. Oxford: Blackwell. Harvey, D. (2005) A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Kerr, D. (1999) Beheading the King and Enthroning the Market: a critique of Foucauldian governmentality. Science and Society 63(2): 173–202.

41 Porter, L; Jaconelli, M; Cheyne, J; Eby, D; and Wagenaar, H. (2009) Planning Displacement: the real legacy of major sporting events: Just a person in a wee flat: Being Displaced by the CWGs in Glasgow's East End Olympian Master planning in London Closing Ceremonies: How Law, Policy and the Winter Olympics are Displacing an Inconveniently Located Low-Income Community in Vancouver Commentary: Recovering Public Ethos: Critical Analysis for Policy and Planning. Planning Theory & Practice 10 (3): Rose, N. (2000) Community, Citizenship and the Third Way. American Behavioural Scientist 43: Scottish Government (2009) On Your Marks: a games legacy for Scotland. Edinburgh: Scottish Government. Skeggs, B. (2004) Class, Self, Culture, London: Routledge. Slater, T. (2006) The eviction of critical perspectives from gentrification research. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 30(4):

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