Markets are at the origin of urban life as places for social, cultural and economic encounter evolving over centuries. Today, they have a particular value as mostly independent, non-corporate and often informal work spaces serving millions of the most vulnerable communities across the world. At the same time, markets have become fashionable destinations for ‘foodies’ and middle class consumers and tourists looking for authenticity and heritage. The confluence of these potentially contradictory actors and their interests turns markets into "contested spaces".
Contested Markets, Contested Cities provides an analytical and multidisciplinary framework within which specific markets from Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, Quito, Sofia, Madrid, London and Leeds (UK) are explored. This pioneering and highly original work examines public markets from a perspective of contestation looking at their role in processes of gentrification but also in political mobilisation and urban justice.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Studying markets as spaces of contestation 2. Markets of La Merced: New frontiers of gentrification in the historic centre of Mexico City 3. Learning from La Vega Central: Challenges to the survival of a publicly used (private) marketplace 4. Resisting gentrification in traditional public markets: Lessons from London 5. The contested public space of the tianguis street markets of Mexico City 6. Gourmet Markets as a Commercial Gentrification Model: The Cases of Mexico City and Madrid 7. Neighbourhoods and markets in Madrid: an uneven process of selective transformation 8. Mercado Bonpland and solidarity production networks in Buenos Aires, Argentina 9. Public markets: Spaces for sociability under threat? The case of Leeds’ Kirkgate Market 10. Contested identities and ethnicities in the marketplace: Sofia’s city centre between the East and the West of Europe 11. Popular Culture and heritage in San Roque Market, Quito 12. Conclusions. International perspectives on the transformation of markets
Sara González is Associate Professor in the School of Geography at the University of Leeds, UK where she teaches on critical urban geography courses and leads the research group on Social Justice, Cities and Citizenship. She has published work in international journals on the political and economic transformation in cities, the neoliberalisation of urban policies, gentrification and grassroots contestation of these processes. Between 2012 and 2016 she was the Principal Investigator in Leeds of the EU-funded Contested Cities network, bringing together more than 40 researchers across Europe and Latin America. Between 2006 and 2016 she was part of the editorial collective of the open-access ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies. She favours participatory action research methodologies and has been a very active member of a campaign to support her local market in Leeds.