Gentrification and Crime

New Configurations and Challenges for the City


Giovanni Semi (ed)
Universita degli Studi di Torino
Antonio La Spina (ed)
Centro Studi Pio La Torre
Mario Mirabile (ed)
Edoardo Cabras (ed)


CPCL book series


This volume is the editorial product of the project “Gentrification and Crime. New Configurations and Challenges for the City” started by a public conference held on May 6, 2019 at the Municipal Historical Archive of Palermo. This event was organized by Locus and endorsed by private and public bodies. During the conference, four presentations were given by distinguished academics of main fields investigated: Giovanni Semi, Marco Picone, Adam Asmundo, Antonio La Spina. Journalist Elvira Terranova moderated the event.

This publication was born from the desire to investigate gentrification and crime through a multidisciplinary approach. It draws inspiration from the urban sociologist Henri Lefebvre and his fundamental work The Production of Space on how the subject in its corporeality and in its interactions with the other integrates and produces spaces.

The people involved in the project stem from different fields: geographers, urban sociologists and criminologists, architects and urban planners, historians, and other representatives of civil society. That being said, given this project’s cross-disciplinary nature, contributors are given some creative freedom to flesh-out their own conceptualizations. As such, it is appropriate to cultivate an understanding of the intellectual framework and foundation underpinning this work.


  • Introduction
    Carmelo Cattafi


  • Types of gentrification, crime and social impact
    Antonio La Spina


  • Mafia-Type Organized Crime in the Gentrifying City
    Cecilia Bighelli

    This article aims to propose the analytic tools to investigate the relationship between mafia-type organized crime and gentrification. The topic is introduced by a brief overview of the mafia’s defining features and the concept of “grey area”. Subsequently, global economic trends and public administrations’ measures are seen as the basis of a neoliberal framework attractive for mafioso’s investment. In order to analyze how mafiosi behave about urban transformation, I propose two frames: “participation” and “marginalization” in their turn decline according to the territorial variable, considering traditional and non-traditional areas. The former case is more likely to happen in relation to mafia’s activities in the legal economy. The latter case refers more to the decrease of the mafia’s territorial control. Overall, the main research question concerns what transformations occur in the grey area in terms of actors and their position in the network in a gentrifying city.


  • Introducing Intelligent Ticket’s Dual Role in Degraded Areas
    Electronic Monitoring of Crime and Transmedia Content Presentation to Users
    Dimitrios Panagiotakopoulos

    Smart cities may be considered a contemporary developing research field, principally as new technologies are made presented to the research community. Despite technological advancement and gentrification, smart cities continue to experience many challenges regarding crime and people’s indifference towards important city issues. This work aims at the synchronization and cooperation of the city’s authorities and user experiences through a conceptual framework of an intelligent ticket with the incorporation of RFID - NFC technology which constitutes the amalgam of coexistence and organized design. The proposed ticket’s duality supports a tool for crime mapping-monitoring and the user’s information through transmedia narratives. While it is widely accepted that transmedia has been used extensively to create fictional worlds, this work seeks to inspire real-world participation in criminality city problems. This paper describes the ticket’s conceptual working process framework as an admittance point for crime monitor scenarios and the transmedia approach of multimedia users, presenting a use case on the Piazza Giuseppe Verdi in Bologna that allows its use.


  • A critical approach to platform real estate in the urban ecosystem
    Mario Mirabile, Edoardo Cabras

    The paper addresses some of the new challenges and urban issues through a critical theoretical approach. Following the framework of human ecology, and its subsets, the digital transformation on the real estate market is analyzed, focusing on the role of proptechs in correlation with urban ecosystem and capital. In particular, the paper focuses on digital transformation in real estate industry, contemporary urban capital and new technology-driven re-development practices. Therefore, changes in urban public space and the relation with the private one are addressed, emphasizing how the typical ecosystemic mechanisms act.

    The paper uses primary and secondary sources. Its aim is to investigate the balance net of the implementation of digital technologies in the ecosystemic equation.



  • media
  • cinema
  • criminality
  • gentrification
  • social impact
  • insecurity
  • Published

    6 October 2020


    Creative Commons License

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

    Details about this monograph

    ISBN-13 (15)


    Date of first publication (11)


    Physical Dimensions

    210mm x 297mm