Reclaiming the city from Ouagadougou's displaced residents

Room F
Monday, 31 August 2015
17.15 – 19.00
marginalisation, right to the city, spatial justice, urban legitimacy, urban regeneration

The concept of spatial justice examines the inclusion of social inequalities in a spatial context, and the production of a specific spatial framework adapted to social situation. Thus, it challenges fair and equitable distribution in space of valued resources and opportunities to exploit them. In many southern cities, urban policies have produced discriminations on the location and the distribution of urban resources, especially by population relocation and the production of segregative urban structures. These situations have led people to become aware of these inequalities and claim their right to the city. But beyond political movements, it matters to consider the construction of urban legitimacies and the awareness of citadinity. In Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the inner city renewal caused massive population resettlements towards suburbs, and give rise to an opposition of urban standards between a “showcase city” promoted by international actors and urban margins with illegitimated way of being citizen. However, unlike other African cities, this segregation does not give rise to an organized reclaiming about right to the city issues. Is this enough to assert that reclaiming access to public spaces from Ouagadougou’s dwellers does not exist? The inhabitants’ way of life is disqualified by the land transaction, and they become socially and spatially marginalized. But exercising the margin can result in an awareness of urban condition, which reflects in practices and representations. What are the dynamics of these urban practices and representations and how are they organizing (or not) the policies promoted standards?

Félix Lefebvre
Université Lille 1
felixlefebvre1988 [at]

Organizing Partners

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