Revitalising Urban Peripheries

Paolo Molinari*

*Corresponding author

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Through urban expansion, cities have continued to generate new peripheries, but these are no longer included in a common, comprehensive project as would have occurred – albeit in a subordinate way – at the time of the industrial city. In the public narrative and in media coverage, the peripheries remain on the margins of innovation, know-how, culture and the workplace. They are thus considered as unlikely places for decision-making, for being of importance and for making themselves heard. In other words, the peripheries are marginalised and reduced to a dimension of extreme relegation. Our reflection on this topic arises from the fact that although there are many studies in international literature that deal with this theme, urban peripheries have not been uniformly defined. As a result, we often equate the term periphery as a place lacking quality and positive characteristics, a place to where poor people and migrants are relegated. Using the distinction between “old” and “new” peripheries as a starting point, this chapter aims to address this relational concept, always linked to another on which it depends, in this case that of the “centre”, by interpreting it in the plural. In fact, there is not just one periphery, but many peripheries, each with its own characteristics and potential. In this respect, each periphery is not just the result of a simple fact or distance, but the product of choices and policies. These reflections lead us to consider the importance of the territorial aspect, which cannot be separated from the social and institutional one. Based on considerations regarding European countries and avoiding the idealisation of the concepts of neighbourhood and mixité, this chapter will reflect on the need to propose policies to revitalise these areas (urban regeneration programmes), thereby enhancing their specific characteristics in the urban context, also in terms of intercultural dialogue: they are, in fact, one of the main testing grounds of the European social model. Drawing on the experiences examined, revitalising the peripheries means combining place-based policies with traditional social policies (housing, training, work and security).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntercultural Issues and Concepts. A Multi-Disciplinary Glossary
EditorsGilardoni G. Colombo M.
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameEurope of culture/Dialogues


  • EU Integration Context
  • Inclusione territoriale
  • Integrazione comunitaria
  • Rigenerazione urbana
  • Territorial Inclusion
  • Urban Regeneration


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