After having collaborated with Nextdoor as a GIS mapper and ad-hoc advisor, today I will have the honour to give a short speech during the party for the official launch of the neighbourhood-based social network in Italy.
I will talk about Nextdoor's potential in participatory processes, and here you can read my discourse, both in Italian and in English.
The way in which the multi-ethnic – and rather blighted – neighbourhood of Via Padova in Milano has been addressed by politicians and the media over the last decades seems to fit within a revanchist framework. Between the late 1990s and the early 2010s the debate mainly concerned the reproduction of fear and the embitterment of punitive measures against newly settled foreign migrants (I wrote about this here).
Years later, also due to a growing presence of the so-called urban creatives, a gentrification process seems to have been triggered, as Chiara Vitrano, Ph.D. and I found out in our working paper (available here).
My position is that the displacement of the poor is not the solution for the regeneration of deprived urban neighbourhoods. Rather, we should aim at redressing imbalances and improving the quality of life for the most disadvantaged people, possibly fostering an inclusive participatory planning approach.