Lidia Manzo has been awarded with the Marie Sklodowska Curie European Individual Fellowship 2019-2021 to develop the project CITY-OF-CARE at the Department of Social and Political Sciences of the Milan University in partnership with the MU Department of Geography. Dr Manzo has previously been a research visitor in our department from October 2015 to May 2018, working with Dr Sinead Kelly on a gentrification-based research project funded by the Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship and next June will be Visiting Fellow at the MU Social Sciences Institute.
CITY-OF CARE examines the crucial socio-economic and spatial implications of the financialization of social housing (FSH) in two European cities: Milan and Dublin. Key global processes of financial capital markets and securitization have restructured national property and housing systems, making them increasingly interdependent. Welfare retrenchment, product deregulation and financial liberalization each contributed to a dual process of residualized social housing and the expansion and inflation of the private housing market. However, in the aftermath of the 2008 global economic crisis, new subjectivities and relational strategies by people for people emerged as a coping mechanism to fight the instability and uncertainty of living in poverty.
CITY-OF-CARE takes an innovative “personal network” approach to elicit the dynamics and the relevance of interconnected care providers. Caring as a distinctive, network-based activity is one of the central elements in the survival practices of disadvantaged areas of the city. Yet, it remains a gendered activity that develops between women and their community members under significant structural constraints.
CITY-OF-CARE puts under scrutiny the role of women’s leadership in building and using social capital that can sustain community care and solidarity over the long haul, challenging the inequities of neoliberalism and contributing to the EU urban cohesion agenda advancement.