From the cradle of social democracy to neoliberal playground: Malmö and the competition for urban imaginaries
Based on evidence from urban development projects in the city of Malmö, Sweden, I would like to discuss the idea that the success of the neoliberal utopia is based not in a clear break with its predecessor - social democracy – but in the appropriation, reworking and transformation of the social-democratic ideal to suit specific elite interests. The current institutionalisation of neoliberal planning borrows heavily from the 1960s Million program's modernist architectural and design language, and shows a similar impatient drive to 'build away' the past (impoverishment, deindustrialization), head for a similar modernist future that would erase social divides, and, this time, populate the city with cosmopolitan open-minded creative educated liberals. It is only through reclaiming the realm of the 'social' and reconnecting it with the political and the economic sphere that we can begin to imagine urban alternatives that could successfully compete with the neoliberal hegemonic.
- Human Geography
Is Planning Past Politics? Political Displacement and Democratic Deficits in Contemporary Territorial Governance
Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm