LIFE in a ZOO: Henri Lefebvre and the (social) production of (abstract) space in Liverpool

Thompson, M ORCID: 0000-0002-5691-4851
(2017) LIFE in a ZOO: Henri Lefebvre and the (social) production of (abstract) space in Liverpool. City, 21 (2). 104 - 126.

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Building on recent critical contributions towards conceptualising neighbourhood change as socially produced and politically ‘performed’, this paper takes a closer look at the work of Henri Lefebvre to understand the production of urban space as a deeply political process. A common critical characterisation of neighbourhood change—occurring through a grand Lefebvrean struggle between ‘abstract space-makers’ and ‘social space-makers’—is critically examined through an in-depth historical case study of the Granby neighbourhood in Liverpool. Here, these forces are embodied respectively in technocratic state-led comprehensive redevelopment, notably Housing Market Renewal and its LIFE and ZOO zoning models; and in alternative community-led rehabilitation projects such as the Turner Prize-winning Granby Four Streets Community Land Trust. By tracing the surprisingly intimate interactions and multiple contradictions between these apparently opposing spatial projects, the production of neighbourhood is shown to be a complex, often violent political process, whose historical trajectories require disentangling in order to understand how we might construct better urban futures.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: peerreview_statement: The publishing and review policy for this title is described in its Aims & Scope. aims_and_scope_url:
Uncontrolled Keywords: production of space, abstraction, urban policy, neighbourhood regeneration, housing, community development
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2020 14:16
Last Modified: 25 May 2022 13:10
DOI: 10.1080/13604813.2017.1353327
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