Celebrations of Urbanity Editorial
By Alessandro Busà
Confronting Strategies in Urban Reinvention - The Urban Reinventors, Issue Nr. 1, June 2007
The notion of "Urban Reinvention" addresses a set of political strategies of urban redevelopment implemented by entrepreneurial local administrations within the growth-oriented and competition-driven framework of urban governance of the post Fordist-Keynesan era after the mid 1970's.
If the term "urban regeneration", as Neil Smith (2002, New Globalism, New Urbanism, Gentrification as Global Urban Strategy) argues, tends to insinuate that such strategies are the outcome of physiological or natural processes, and the much used term of "renaissance" seems to hint at spontaneous and endogenous processes, the more appropriate notion of reinvention suggests a conscious strategic action undertaken by those in charge - in our case, the entrepreneurial local administrations. It also highlights the preponderant role played by creativity in the strategies implemented, as will be explored in the following chapters. The social, economic, and longterm macroeconomic impacts of strategies of urban reinvention require robust theoretical and empirical evaluation. The aim of this journal is to make those evaluations and to put current debates about strategies of urban reinvention in context and perspective. Through the analysis of several case studies of critical significance, assets as well as pitfalls and disfunctionalities of such strategies will be unraveled. (…)
Alessandro Busà is Chief Editor of The Urban Reinventors, as well as a licensed Architect (Berlin’s Chamber of Architects), a Ph.D. candidate in Urban Planning at the Technische Universität Berlin and a visiting scholar at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation of Columbia University in New York. His writing and research interests explore entrepreneurial shifts in urban policies and recent strategies of reinvention of the urban environment in western cities. His main research areas are architecture, historic preservation, urban planning, urban design, urban and suburban regional development, urban redevelopment strategies, creative strategies, urban renaissance, urban regeneration. Busà has been awarded the Erwin Stephan Preis of the Technische Universität Berlin in 2004, and has worked in 2005 on “Traccia di Memoria”, winning project in the architectural competition for a monument to the Italian Resistance in Florence. He has lectured in Italy, Poland and Germany. Urban writer and photographer, he recently directed a documentary film on the gentrification of former East Berlin (“Ein Berliner Haus”), which was awarded a special mention by the Festival der Nationen (Vienna) in 2006. Busà has heretofore published several articles and book chapters in Germany and Italy and cooperated in research projects in both countries.