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Much has been written about the neoliberal aestheticization of cities and its role in fostering consumption not just in, but also of, urban space. However, at a time when the pursuit of aesthetic experiences has become increasingly common, its exclusive association with privileged urban groups needs to be revisited. Drawing on ethnographic research conducted in the Bisagno Valley, a postindustrial periphery of Genoa, Italy, this paper explores how forms of resistance to redevelopment may challenge a dominant distribution of the sensible condemning postindustrial peripheries to the ruinations of redevelopment. Valley activists, it suggests, seek to subvert the categorization of peripheries as non-places by promoting ways of sensing and making sense of urban space that, while deeply intimate, are also consistent with neoliberal aesthetics. By recasting their neighborhood as meaningful and worth protecting, activists reclaim a role as heritage consumers that may allow them to participate in conversations about its future.


Author accepted manuscript version of an article published in:

Guano, E. (2020). Neoliberal Aesthetics and the Struggle against Redevelopment in an Italian Postindustrial Periphery. Space and Culture.

(c) Sage Publications

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