Arrival City (failed)

“Because arrival cities are so widely misunderstood and distrusted – dismissed as static ‘slums’ rather than places of dynamic change – governments have devoted much of the past 60 years to attempting to prevent their formation. It didn’t begin this way. In the two decades after the Second World War, squatter enclaves were tolerated. .. Then, as urban economies became increasingly informal starting in the late 1960s, and manufacturing economies were no longer always the main destination for rural migrants, governments and international organizations developed an obsession with ‘over-urbanization’. This coincided with a romantized, idealized view of the peasant life popular to Marxist economies and in many corners of academia. … It is worth noting that countries rarely experience economic growth while banning or restricting rural-urban migration: without urbanization, the economy stagnates, and people often starve, … Migration-control laws made life much worse for the poor while creating deep layers of corruption, since migration meant bribing officials; this, in turn, increased the criminality of the arrival city. [S. 56] …

Shenzen, China … In a city of 14 million, only 2.1 million, or 15 per cent, have a Shenzen hukou, which entitles their children to education in the city. Fei and Zhan have no hope of getting one. [S. 59] …

The past decade has seen a dramatic change in official opinions. Still, the demolition of arrival-city slums is all too common a practice in such cities as Mumbai and Manila. These bulldozings destroy the economic and social functioning of the arrival city. Even in cases where evicted slum-dwellers are given rudimentary apartments in tower blocks – a common practice in Asia and South America – it is no longer possible for them to create shops, restaurants and factories [S. 62] …

Brazil, with its hundreds of high-population slums still controlled by narco-gangs, also offers a cautionary tale. Its governments spent decades trying to prevent, remove, isolate or ignore the arrival city, and its inevitable dynamics bit back: if left to its own devices, and deprived of access to the larger political system, the arrival city will generate a defensive politics of its own. In Brazil, it took the form of the drug gang. In Mumbai, it is Hindu nationalism. In the arrival cities of Europe, Islamic extremism. [S. 75] …

Most Westerners do not understand that what is taking place in their cities is a process of rural-to-urban migration. … People move through its neighbourhoods … The downward trend for the place is the opposite indicator of the upward trend enjoyed by the residents themselves. This paradox has created a sense among outsiders that the city’s immigrant districts are poorer or more desperate than they really are, which leads to a misunderstanding of the forms of government investment they really need – a serious policy problem in many migrant-based cities around the world. rather than getting the tools of ownership, education, security, business creation and connection to the wider economy, they are too often treated as destitute places that need non-solutions such as social workers, public-housing blocks and urban-planned redevelopments. [S. 82/83] …

Los Angeles, California … Mario ..,, despite being a successful businessman, the husband of a naturalized immigrant and the father of a young American citizen, he has not yet found a way to become a legal Amercian himself. … In the past, the United States has granted amnesties to large numbers of illegal immigrants, transforming them from informal, non-taxpaying underground workers into legitimate citizens who can invest in their society. [Not any more.] Tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of other Angelos are in similar positions: afraid or unable to put their earnings into their communities, trapped in a netherworld of half-arrived despite being active in the economy. The ambiguous approach to citizenship can have damaging effects on arrival cities, turning them from opportunities into threats. [S. 85] …

Les Pyramides, Evry, France. … Something happens to villagers when they arrive in the French urban outskirts. The culture of transition, that fertile amalgam of village and urban life, is frozen in its early stages, prevented from advancing into permanency, from growing into something that contributes to the country’s economy and culture. The parents often manage the first stage adequately, keeping one foot in the village and one in the city, holding down rudimentary jobs and supporting their villages through remittances. But they are prevented from moving to the usual next stage, from launching any kind of small business, from owning their house, from meshing themselves with the larger urban community – they remain isolated. And their children, fully acculturated, find themselves stuck – in part by a well-documented racism that denies them jobs or higher-education postings on the basis of last names or post codes. … ‘The problem is, that these kids see themselves as immigrants.’ … They didn’t build Les Pyramides with Africans in mind. There are not enough rooms, no place for markets, nothing that people from villages can use to make a start … [S. 235] … In effect, the children were raised on the streets and concrete squares of Les Pyramides, by a community of other African and Arab children and teenagers in similar circumstances, a prentless world that pulled many of them into delinquency, others simply into bitterness and anomie. [S. 238] … ‘There are definitely a lot of problems with discrimination here but people don’t realize that the bigger trouble is that a lot of the people … from the banlieus, don’t have a social network that connects them to French society … And in France, it’s very important to have a network to get into school or to get a job.’ [S. 239] …

Kreuzberg, Berlin. … Compared to their French counterparts, these would seem to be ideal locations: in the centre of the city, closely tied to broader German community and economy, generously provided with social services. But Kreuzberg is not a functioning arrival city by any means. Rather than becoming urban and German, many of its residents seem to become more rural and Turkish, and increasingly removed from the centre of society. … 17 per cent said their marriages were forced – a practice that is dying infast in Turkey but was revived in Germany in response to immigration policies. [S. 244] … The Turks in Berlin are forced into a grotesque caricature of their home country’s life, one build on primitive traditions that no longer exist in much of Turkey, one that is alien to most citizens of Turkey as it is to Germans. … Women have fared better in the squatter outskirts of Istanbul than they have in the Turkish neighbourhoods of Berlin. … Something happens to Turks when they come to Kreuzberg, freezing them in a now non-existent Turkish rural past. This is not intrinsic nature of Turkish society, or the inevitable fate of Turkish villagers arriving in the West. In France, almost all second-generation Turks are fluent in French. In the Netherlands, home ownership and upward social mobility are far more prevalent. In London and Stockholm, Turkish neighbourhoods blend successfully into the city’s mainstream … What is missing from the German arrival city … is citizenship.” [S. 246]

aus: Doug Saunders: Arrival City. How the largest migration in history is reshaping our world. London: Windmill 2010.

Abb.: Michael Cook: Broken Dreams #2, 2010, im Internet.


30/09/2014 (11:40) Schlagworte: EN,Lesebuch ::

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