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        • ‘We’re Working on It’
          Urban Renewal in Antwerp

        Abstract
        This contribution takes as its case study a promotional booklet distributed by the city of Antwerp among the local population in late 2011. The title is ‘The City: We’re Working on It’ and it presents the on-going urban renewal projects in Antwerp. The booklet turns out to be an interesting symptomatic document from the age of the mid-size city. Not only does it show how the search for an attractive habitat occupying the desirable middle between metropolitan allure and small-scale cosiness forces urban policymakers to engage constantly in rhetorical oscillations and double-speak, it also allows us to observe how the middle class, which is at the centre of political power in all such mid-size cities, feels forced to navigate in its image production between its primary target audience (white middle-class gentrifiers) and secondary audiences (principally multi-ethnic immigrants) in trying to convey what must nevertheless be perceived as a universal message about the common good.
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        Citation
        Eeckhout, B. (2013). ‘We’re Working on It’. Urban Renewal in Antwerp. Medium. Images of the Mid-Size City, OASE, (89), 28–33. Retrieved from https://www.oasejournal.nl/en/Issues/89/WereWorkingOnIt

        Download PDF (1.36 MB)

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