"Welcome in my backyard"…but on my terms: making sense of homeless exclusion from renewed urban spaces in Copenhagen

"Welcome in my backyard"…but on my terms: making sense of homeless exclusion from renewed urban spaces in Copenhagen

Based on a Danish case study of urban renewal in Copenhagen’s Sundholm District, this paper examines, (a) how present urban regeneration efforts in a historically welfare-driven, but increasingly neoliberalized state context, is contributing to more or less spatial exclusion of the homeless, and (b) to what extent this may be associated with a revanchist/punitive stance of the Danish state. Using an urban political ecological lens, this paper highlights a relational understanding of the apparently dualistic/competing public and civic discourses shaping the Danish urban regeneration program. Revealing the complex ways that public socio-environmental policies and middle-class civic environmentalism/activism intersect with state-entrepreneurialism within such regeneration efforts, this paper presents an instance of a historically and geographically distinct process of neoliberal disciplining of the poor in Sundholm District. The paper shows that while such disciplining of the homeless is not driven by a purely punitive state, it results in soft, green-coded, nonetheless exclusionary implications for the homeless and their socio-spatial practices within the renewed urban spaces.

JOURNAL: GeoJournal
PUBLICATION DATE: 2017