Capital is not picky about where accumulation takes place
On the rim of the Indian Ocean and on islands in the region there is now a scramble among seekers of El Dorado (i.e. accumulation). While the catastrophe has an obvious physical base, the immediate consequences of the waves are very much the product of social history in the coastal areas, and the long term consequences very much the product of the ongoing playing out of space wars: whose visions will prevail, whose projects will come to occupy time-space? There is, it seems, a second wave of risk, when catastrophe for some becomes opportunity for others.
islands seem to provide ideal locations for the placement of dreams, our visions of a happier future. In the very physical logic of time-geography, the realization of any project always excludes the realization of other projects.
Just a brief parenthesis, in relation to the recent events in the Indian Ocean....: serving the visions of who?
many stories... residential change, tourism, second homes, off-shore finance,...
The Penghu archipelago is in the Taiwan Strait between Taiwan and Mainland China.
The Penghu islanders live largely off of fishing...
... and very small scale agriculture (very windy: walls of coral stone protect the thin topsoil)
Many dwellings abandoned ... depopulation during most of last century
More recently tourism has become a growing sector in the island economy... Primarily domestic Taiwanese tourists. The archipelago boasts the oldest temple in Taiwan.
... But also a bustling commerce, increasingly tourist-oriented, in the main town of Makung (Magong).
Here is a sign letting the Chinese tourists know that a renewal program is underway in a historical quarter of Magong, with mixed commercial and residential land-use.
Euroview, July 2004 Website full of marketing to attract investment capital.... Amazing is primarily out for a killing on the land.
Mayor Lai, Tim and Ian and Amazing Ltd.
course 1/7 Eric Clark
Uneven development: island gentrification and environmental conflicts Eric Clark Lund University Department of Human Geography and Lund University Centre of Excellence for Integration of Social and Natural Dimensions of Sustainability (LUCID) Advanced course on the analysis of environmental conflicts and justice, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, June 27 – July 10 2010
STRUGGLES FOR POWER environmental conflicts, conflicts over land <ul><li>The core of geography: </li></ul><ul><li>“ struggles for power over the entry of entities and events into space and time” </li></ul><ul><li>Torsten Hägerstrand (1986) </li></ul><ul><li>Den geografiska traditionens kärnområde </li></ul><ul><li>Svensk Geografisk Årsbo k </li></ul>
SPACE WARS <ul><li>“ Urban [and island, indeed all] territory becomes the battlefield of continuous space war, sometimes erupting into the public spectacle of inner-city riots … but waged daily just beneath the surface of the public (publicized), official version of the routine urban order. ” </li></ul><ul><li>Zygmunt Bauman (1998) Globalization: the human consequences </li></ul>
Gentrification: creative destruction <ul><li>“ Modernity is always about ‘ creative destruction’, be it of the gentle and democratic, or the revolutionary, traumatic, and authoritarian kind.” David Harvey (2003) Paris: capital of modernity </li></ul><ul><li>Gentrification is a common manifestation of modernity, a mode of creative destruction that in ’gentle and democratic’ form easily passes unnoticed. </li></ul>
GENUINE POLITICS <ul><li>A genuine politics “demands the restructuring of social space, the recognition of conflict as constitutive of the social condition and the naming and counting of the socio-ecological spaces that can become.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Slavoj Zizek 1999) </li></ul>
Gentrification is a process involving change in the population of land-users such that the new users are of a higher socioeconomic status than the previous users, together with an associated change in the built environment through reinvestment in fixed capital. What is gentrification?
Gentrification <ul><li>Residential mobility: upward shift in class/socioeconomic status </li></ul><ul><li>+ </li></ul><ul><li>Re investment in built environment </li></ul><ul><li>Flows of people and capital across land/space </li></ul><ul><li>change in land use / occupancy </li></ul>
Opposite of gentrification: filtering (slum formation) <ul><li>Residential mobility: downward shift in class/socioeconomic status </li></ul><ul><li>+ </li></ul><ul><li>Dis investment in built environment </li></ul><ul><li>Flows of people and capital across land/space </li></ul><ul><li>change in land use / occupancy </li></ul>
Gentrification <ul><li>Ruth Glass (1964) inner city London, working class, residential, renovation, market-driven </li></ul><ul><li>Not only inner city, working class, residential, </li></ul><ul><li>renovation, market-driven, global city, ’new middle </li></ul><ul><li>class’, or otherwise particularly defined: </li></ul><ul><li>Rural gentrification </li></ul><ul><li>New-build gentrification </li></ul><ul><li>State-led gentrification </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial gentrification </li></ul><ul><li>Super-gentrification </li></ul><ul><li>etc => Generic gentrification </li></ul>
What are the necessary relations underlying gentrification? Commodification of space Polarized power relations Dominance of vision over sight, characteristic of ‘ the vagrant sovereign’
Commodification of space opens up space for conquest, facilitating ‘highest and best’ land uses to supplant present uses, i.e. “forcing the proper allocation of capital to land” (Harvey 1982, 360). It works in tandem with the seeking of vagrant sovereigns to realize visions through the exploitation of potentials, destroying the actual in the process. The more polarized the power relations, the more forceful the dynamic.
Vision over sight (the colonial impulse) “ We came with visions, but not with sight. We did not see or understand where we were or what was there, but destroyed what was there for the sake of what we desired. … And this habit of assigning a higher value to what might be than to what is has stayed with us, so that we continue to sacrifice the health of our land and of our communities” Wendell Berry (1982) The gift of good land
To accomplish more, sometimes you need to see less. Go on. Be a Tiger. High performers don’t allow themselves to be distracted.
Generic gentrification: structural undergirding (take two) <ul><li>Inequality/polarization </li></ul><ul><li>Commodification of land/space </li></ul><ul><li>The set of fictions that naturalize the logic </li></ul><ul><li>of capital, which is thereby successfully </li></ul><ul><li>imposed upon social life (Harvey 2006) </li></ul>
Gentrification: a form of accumulation by dispossession “ Generation after generation, those who intended to remain and prosper where they were have been dispossessed and driven out … by those who were carrying out some version of the search for El Dorado. Time after time, in place after place, these conquerors have fragmented and demolished traditional communities … They have always said that what they destroyed was out-dated, provincial, and contemptible. And with alarming frequency they have been believed and trusted by their victims, especially when their victims were other white people.” Wendell Berry (1977) The unsettling of America
The semiotics of gentrification… Urban renewal Regeneration Revitalization ‘ sanering’ Urban frontier Pioneers Taming the wild wild east … A vocabulary of colonialism
Gentrification: what it comes down to <ul><li>Whose visions of a place actually take place? </li></ul><ul><li>“ Those ‘ low down’ happen time and again to be thrown out from the site they would rather stay in.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Bauman 1998) </li></ul><ul><li>[yes, this is general… sshhh!] </li></ul>
Potential land rent Capitalized land rent Building value The Rent Gap
What ‘vagrant sovereigns’ (powerful actors) are willing to pay to move in, take over space and realize their visions/projects What present users can afford to stay put and continue with their lives and livelihoods, and realize their visions/projects Building value The rent gap Potential land rent Capitalized land rent 1
Do you see opportunities where others don’t? Go on. Be a Tiger. The competitor who is first to spot an opportunity is usually in the best position to capture it. By working to sharpen your vision, we can help you become a high performer.
(2004) (1996) New York, 1990s, 6 – 10 % of all moves displacement (Newman & Wyly 2006)
Displacement: more than re-location <ul><li>“ Losing one’s place can be much more traumatic than simply changing location.” Finding cases is not difficult: “the tragedy is that there is so much from which to choose.” </li></ul><ul><li>David Smith (1994) </li></ul><ul><li>G eography and Social Justice </li></ul>
Trust Inequality and social mobility Freedom: more than just another word
Inequality and de-democratization <ul><li>“ … increases in categorical inequality ... tend to de-democratize regimes.” </li></ul><ul><li>Increased inequality threatens democracy </li></ul>
Inequality reexamined <ul><li>“ Relative deprivation in the space of incomes can yield absolute deprivation in the space of capabilities .” </li></ul>
The moral significance of class “ Material conditions such as the spatial segregation of the dominant and the oppressed reduce pressures to work towards more inclusively beneficial forms of social organisation.”
Challenges to island development <ul><li>Peripherality in decision making </li></ul><ul><li>Limited diversity of natural resources and skills base </li></ul><ul><li>Small domestic markets </li></ul><ul><li>Income volatility </li></ul><ul><li>High transportation and communication costs </li></ul><ul><li>Access to capital </li></ul>
<ul><li>Flexible adaptation; pragmatism </li></ul><ul><li>Utilizing jurisdiction </li></ul><ul><li>Rent-based income </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>▬► </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Economies of place can make up for diseconomies of scale </li></ul>Island “s uccess” stories
Models of island development <ul><li>MIRAB </li></ul><ul><li>PROFIT </li></ul><ul><li>SITE </li></ul><ul><li>and ?? </li></ul>
SITE <ul><li>Small </li></ul><ul><li>Island </li></ul><ul><li>Tourist </li></ul><ul><li>Economies </li></ul>
Connecting MIRAB, PROFIT, SITE, ETC <ul><li>“ Dislocation there certainly was, but the Cayman Islands successfully made the transition from one of the poorest to one of the three richest Caribbean island communities.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Bertram 2007) </li></ul>
The Challenge <ul><li>The challenge for island communities is to take control over the development process and strengthen their local economies, while avoiding being displaced in the process. </li></ul>
Gentrification: historical context in Södra Skärgården <ul><li>“ For centuries, Styrsö and neighboring islands remained a cluster of poor and shabby communities. But soon there came a day when a happier and warmer sun started to shine over Styrsö. Styrsö was ‘ discovered’.” Landelius 1924 </li></ul>
Strindberg’s ‘ modern spirit’ <ul><li>“ My great novel … in an aristocratic, modern spirit, it asserts the incontestible right of the Stronger (i.e. the shrewder) to oppress and treat the Underdog as dung for his own good, he doesn’t understand.” </li></ul><ul><li>August Strindberg in letter to Ola Hansson, 13 June 1890, regarding his new novel </li></ul><ul><li>I havsbandet ( By the open sea ) </li></ul>
<ul><li>“ The corps of professional fishermen in Sweden has dwindled to half during the last ten years, and many fishing hamlets have transformed into the summer residences of urban dwellers.” </li></ul><ul><li>Löfgren 1974 </li></ul><ul><li>Declining year-round population </li></ul><ul><li>+ </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing numbers of houses </li></ul>Gentrification: historical context in Södra Skärgården
Gentrification in Södra Skärgården ‘b ofasta’ vs ‘ sommargäster’ <ul><li>“ The surface of conflict is between permanent residents and the summer guests. That is the conflict that is most visible. When a house changes owners and is dark most of the year – that is the problem.” </li></ul><ul><li>Interview, March 2006 </li></ul>
Gentrification in Södra Skärgården ‘ bofasta’ vs ‘ sommargäster’ <ul><li>“ People complain about others who sell to summer guests, and say they would never do that. But later, when they move, they do the same thing. You are a fool not to take the market value. That is just to give the difference to the next owner.” </li></ul><ul><li>Interview, March 2006 </li></ul>
Gentrification in Södra Skärgården ‘ bofasta’ vs ‘ sommargäster’ <ul><li>Absentee ownership provides “ freedom from the duty to contribute to daily life and the perpetuation of the community.” </li></ul><ul><li>Bauman 1998 </li></ul>
Gentrification in Södra Skärgården: replacement or displacement? <ul><li>“ It is getting more and more difficult for people with low incomes who work in health care or the public sector to be able to afford housing on the islands. They are forced to move to the mainland and commute. This is more and more noticeable, due to increasing prioperty prices.” </li></ul><ul><li>Interview, March 2006 </li></ul>
Gentrification in Södra Skärgården: forms of resistance <ul><li>Political mobilization </li></ul><ul><li>Boplikt (duty to dwell) </li></ul><ul><li>Tax reductions for year-round residents </li></ul><ul><li>Föreningen för åretruntboende och frivillig boplikt </li></ul>
The great transformation Market and Nature “ What we call land is an element of nature inextricably interwoven with man’s institutions. To isolate it and form a market for it was perhaps the weirdest of all the undertakings of our ancestors.” “ We might as well imagine his being born without hands and feet as carrying on his life without land.” (1944 )
Joseph Stiglitz (Foreword to new edition of Polanyi’s The Great Transformation ) <ul><li>“ The freedom to move capital in and out of a country at will is a freedom that some exercise, at an enormous cost to others. Unfortunately, the myth of the self‐regulating economy, in either the old guise of laissez‐faire or in the new clothing of the Washington consensus, does not represent a balancing of these freedoms, for the poor face a greater sense of insecurity than everyone else, …” </li></ul>
<ul><li>“… and in some places, such as Russia, the absolute number of those in poverty has soared and living standards have fallen. For these, there is less freedom, less freedom from hunger, less freedom from fear. Were he writing today, I am sure Polanyi would suggest that the challenge facing the global community today is whether it can redress these imbalances – before it is too late.” </li></ul>Joseph Stiglitz (Foreword to new edition of Polanyi’s The Great Transformation )
Can gentrification be avoided? <ul><li>Yes, but resistance against gentrification involves a struggle for power over the entry of other entities and events into time-space: not only blocking gentrification, but creating alternative regimes for development. </li></ul>
The invention of capitalism, and the invention of something else The invention of new socioecological relations upon which to build institutions which manage conflicts over land and dampen drivers of conflicts such as excessive inequalities. (2000) The invention of new forms of land management which include the recovery of commons in land.
We need to invent new relations that can counter: Commodification of space Polarized power relations Dominance of vision over sight, characteristic of ‘ the vagrant sovereign’
President Ian Irvin's speech at the formal signing of the 'Land Purchase Agreement' between Penghu County Government and Amazing Ltd. (2000/6/27) <ul><li>Today we are creating a solid foundation that will eventually lead to the Penghu Islands becoming the first, and probably the only, high quality tourist destination within Asia. Tim Potter first told me this a little over a year ago and since then Amazing Limited has spread the news very quietly, to some senior and influential people throughout the world and together we will put these islands on the international map. </li></ul>
<ul><li>It is the people of the Penghu Islands that hold the key to success, because I believe that we have before us the sort of opportunity that come but once in a lifetime. The Penghu Islands are the best kept secret in Asia. There is an opportunity for the venture on which we are embarking on today to lead to a resort that can rival the best the world has to offer. The challenge that lies before us now is to do with managing the developments that will follow Project Thistle. It is vital that we all manage that progress and that we do not allow it to manage us. For it all to work properly you will need to bring in people from the big bad world out there. We are the first, we are your friends, but we will not be the last. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The key to success rests with ensuring that the major international companies that will come to these islands come on your terms, and we at Amazing Lim will do all that we can to help you manage those relationships to everyone’s benefit. … </li></ul><ul><li>This however is all just the “tip of the iceberg” because it is the establishment of our own office here in Makung that is the true test of our commitment to you. … </li></ul>
<ul><li>Before I propose a toast to this venture I would like to extend a special vote of thanks to Governor Lai and his staff, in particular Hong and all the people at the land bureau, because without their help and professionalism we simply would not have got this venture off the ground. Governor Lai is a man of true vision and is a pleasure to work with. </li></ul><ul><li>Today is also the first day of the next chapter in the life of the Penghu Islands and I hope that in years to come people will look back on this day as being day it all began. The 27th June 2000 should go down in the history books of the Penghu Islands as being the day that the proper globalization of these islands started. </li></ul><ul><li>Ian Irvin, President, Amazing Ltd. </li></ul><ul><li> http://www.phhg.gov.tw/english/intro/text2.htm </li></ul>
Amazing Holdings PLC website <ul><li>Amazing Ltd. is a property development group involved in the establishment of a Casino hotel resort in the Pescadores (locally know as Penghu). The company is 75% controlled by MaiDor Ltd. and Bayside Development Corporation Ltd., both registered in the Isle of Man, and wholly owned by their respective founding entrepreneurs. Until recently, the Pescadores was off-limits for development during the martial law era, but since the rapid democratization of Taiwan, conditions have improved and Amazing Ltd. is now well positioned to take advantage of this pristine location as the first major beach front development on the islands. </li></ul>