Neighborhood and Nation in Neoliberal Times: Urban Upheaval, Resistance, and National Identity in Buenos Aires, Argentina
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In the wake of the 2001 Argentine economic crisis, Buenos Aires has undergone the largest real estate boom in the city’s history. In the midst of a whirlwind of urban development, several middle class neighborhood activist groups have emerged to contest the effects of this real estate boom on the identity of their neighborhoods and city. In particular, one of these neighborhood activist groups called Palermo Despierta has begun a campaign in the Palermo district to prevent the construction of mega-residential towers that have become central icons of neoliberal urban development since the crisis. My thesis argues that underlying recent Buenos Aires middle class neighborhood activism is a desire to defend historically imagined national narratives of middle-classness and Europeanness inscribed in the urban space of the city from the forces of neoliberal urbanism that are fundamentally reconfiguring the urban landscape to make Buenos Aires more globally competitive.