Larsen, Troels Schultz. ‘Copenhagen’s West End a “Paradise Lost”: The Political Production of Territorial Stigmatization in Denmark’. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, vol. 46, no. 6, SAGE Publications Ltd, June 2014, pp. 1386–1402.
Why have many of the prestige developments in Copenhagen’s West End built during the golden days of the welfare state morphed into neglected and stigmatized territories? This paper seeks to answer this question by deploying a field-analytical approach inspired by Bourdieu and Wacquant. The emergence of advanced marginality and the diffusion of spatial defamation in Copenhagen are products of the historical struggles over space occurring in the field of housing and the bureaucratic field. To grasp social transformations at ground level in neglected urban areas, we need to exit those areas and scrutinize the role of the state in the (re)production of territorial stigma. This paper shows how the processes of spatial concentration of dispossessed households and the defamation of their neighbourhoods are closely linked to the institutionalization of a dualized and asymmetrical housing market and a dualizing urban policy which have converged to privilege private ownership at the cost of nonprofit housing for the past fifty years.