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Event Details

Climate change, elites and ecological gentrification

Conference session
Start date : 24 August 2022 09:00
Date de fin : 26 August 2022 16:45
Where : Athens
Hosted by : RC21

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Up and around: climate change, elites and ecological gentrification

We find ourselves in the midst of exceptional times, in which global epochal phenomena, e.g. climate change and Covid-19 pandemic, have been changing our everyday life, narratives and frame of references, also affecting our relationship with space, nature and urbanity. Within the theoretical frame of planetary urbanization and alpine/coastal/rural gentrification, the session aims at discussing processes accelerated and magnified by these global phenomena. In particular, we refer to multi-local dwelling, lifestyle mobility and property acquisition by the middle-upper classes, rich and super-rich (i.e. transnational élites) in mountain, coastal and/or naturally rich areas. Within the climate change process and narrative, mild climate, access to fresh air/water, spaces with scarce anthropic pressure and, more generally, natural amenities and resources appear progressively more crucial and desirable commodities. Covid-19 pandemic, platform economy and the improvements in (IT and hard) infrastructures intertwine, e.g. by increasing the material and symbolic relevance of such commodities and making remote work and multi-dwelling lifestyle and mobility possible for some. Against this background, gentrification processes are on the rise across mountains/natural reserves worldwide, involving both established prime locations and new frontiers of exploitation. Mountains and naturally rich areas are increasingly settings where new lifestyles and class distinction take place and these processes reproduce forms of dispossession and inequalities that, while taking place outside the traditional dense urban areas, present an urban character.

Within this frame, the session welcomes contributions analyzing: dynamics, features and actors of alpine/coastal/rural gentrification; new emerging lifestyle and mobility practices of (transnational) élites; how natural spaces are shaped through the material and symbolic power exerted by the social actors involved; how the symbolic value of such commodities and the legitimacy of such responses are constructed and mobilized; implications in terms of social inequalities, privatization, land-grabbing and the reproduction of class distinctions.

It invites contributions drawing on empirical research in mountain/coastal/naturally rich areas worldwide, theoretical papers on the interconnections between climate change, pandemic and transnational elites, as well as methodological reflections on doing research in contexts of privilege.


For the Mobile Lives Forum, mobility is understood as the process of how individuals travel across distances in order to deploy through time and space the activities that make up their lifestyles. These travel practices are embedded in socio-technical systems, produced by transport and communication industries and techniques, and by normative discourses on these practices, with considerable social, environmental and spatial impacts.

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A lifestyle is a composition of daily activities and experiences that give sense and meaning to the life of a person or a group in time and space.

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