How Urban Decorum Works: Territory, Law and Heritage, talk @Geographies of the law symposium, Turin, Dec 13, 2021

Talk by Cristina Mattiucci (UNINA) and Anke Schwarz (TU Dresden)

Over the past decade, the idea of ‘urban decorum’ has gained traction in contemporary Italian streets and squares. Though reminiscent of earlier debates on securitization of public space, policing, ‘law and order’ and ‘zero tolerance’, we argue that a logic of urban decorum has a specific resonance in urban space. In this paper we explore how this notion, derived from municipal regulations on public space, acts in heritage contexts in Italy today. It focuses on the ways in which urban decorum works, both as a logic and as an actor – and for whom. It aims to unpack the relation between heritage, territory and the law, touching upon questions of territorial Othering and exclusion, and asks what this might imply for an analysis of urban conditions elsewhere. In doing so, we ask how this particular, contemporary of mode of co-constitution of urban and legal geographies speaks to urban commodification as well as identitarian and nostalgic sentiments, and what that might imply for an analysis of neoliberal urban conditions elsewhere. Through urban decorum, the law works on public space in a particular way, in heritage contexts and beyond.

Geographies of the law symposium, Turin, 13. and 14.12.2021

Find the full book of abstracts at University of Turin’s OMERO – Centro Interdipartimentale di ricerca in studi urbani website: