Most Italian cities are characterized by the presence of numerous Catholic Churches, which are often placed in central locations and distinguished by their beauty. It is, however, very rare to encounter non-Catholic, purposely built places of worship. Despite the increasing migration and the increasing number of non-Catholic communities, in Italy minority religious groups are often gathering in former warehouses or commercial spaces on the outskirts of cities. Starting with this observation on the dissonance among an apparently homogeneous cityscape and an increasingly diverse religious demography, this Ph.D. research inquires into the way that planning and law are involved in the accommodation of (religious) diversity. Since “those seeking to create, modify, or reject elements of the built environment must of necessity engage with the planning system of their city” (Fincher et al., 2014, p. 35), and since religious place-making is not an exception to this, then observing the process leading to the formation of new places of worship can offer an effective measure of how the current Italian planning framework is capable, or incapable, of accommodating diversity, especially religious and ethnic diversity (Dwyer et al., 2016) Against this backdrop, some of the key questions guiding this work include: how do administrations handle new claims for religious space and what is the role of planning in the strategies they mobilize? What idea of religion is imprinted in space and through what tools does the imprinting occur? Is our understanding of the working of law apt for the analysis of complex urban phenomena such as (the often conflictual) location of religion? and if not, how is this understanding to be improved? To address these questions, which look at the location of religion from different angles, the dissertation is structured in three articles (each corresponding to a chapter) which intend to shed light on this core issue mostly relying on planning, critical legal geography and critical secular scholarships. The research is based in Veneto – a region located in Italy northeast and particularly suitable for research because of demographic, political and legislative factors. The methods used are prominently qualitative, this both because of the scarcity of quantitative data on the subject and because of the types of questions to be answered. They, in fact, require a close-up look which can hardly be gained through the analysis of aggregated information. Also, the suitability of qualitative methods is confirmed by their wide application in the research of authors interested in the location of diversity, in particular religious diversity. Material used include both primary sources (mostly semi-structured interview and site inspection) and secondary one (press, judiciary sources and planning documents). Chapter 1- The limits of planning: Avoidance, concealment, and refusal of religious diversity in northeast Italy. This first article looks at the way public local administrations handle the emerging demands as stimulated by increasing religious diversity. Once identified three response strategies – those of avoidance, concealment and refusal – the article brings the attention on those elements of planning that support this (regressive) approach to Executive summary diversity by systematically favouring the maintenance of a religiously homogeneous religious landscape. More specifically, the paper identifies technical, cultural and political limits that, by contributing to the creation of a twin-track of recognition and legitimacy among religious groups, hinder planning possibility to contribute to the realization of different, more diverse, cities. Research has been conducted during six month fieldwork (from March to December 2019) in Veneto region. Here, mostly through semi-structured interviews, the situation of nine municipalities has been examined; they range from very small centres (from 3 thousand to 10 thousand inhabitants) to large ones (over 200 thousand inhabitants). The theoretical framework used for this article refers to three different, although related, nuclei. The first includes contributions discussing the conflictual nature of “the sacred” in public spaces and increasingly diverse urban contexts (Chidestar & Linenthal, 1995; Knott, 2001; Kong, 2008). The second considers the position of critical scholars challenging a “progressive” understanding of planning, in favour of a more complex understanding of the relationship between its “political” and “technical” dimensions (Mazza 2002, 2009; Yiftachel, 1998). Lastly, the third builds upon authors writing within critical secular studies (Asad, 1993; Cavenaugh 2009), focusing on the relation among the “religious” and the “secular”. Chapter 2- Stories of “mosques out of place”: planning beyond the ideology of use conformance. The second article starts from where the former has left and, mostly through the analysis of secondary material, concentrates on examining the way in which the legal category of religion is imprinted in space through planning practice. Questions guiding this works include: is there some tool responsible for the spatial definition of religion? and, if yes, which assumptions over religion are hidden and maintained by it? Is there some room to rethink those assumption and the way we inscribe religion in space? In the last few decades, many have turned their attention to controversies surrounding the location of Muslim groups and have pointed out how, frequently, law and planning are instrumentally used to articulate racist and Islamophobic feelings in more acceptable or “neutral” language. In this sense, complaints about unconformity with building and land use have been interpreted, together with arguments over noise, parking and hygiene, as excuses mobilized to get rid of some group, generally Muslims. Throughout the examination of some cases of “mosques out of place” this paper argues that there is more to the issue and that discourses over use conformity are not mere excuses. Finding how procedures requiring land and building use conformance are guilty to normalize and keep unaltered socio-cultural expectations about both religion and space – resulting to be among the first responsible of both direct and indirect exclusion – the paper then consider a revision of planning in which use conformity is not anymore held as being a prominent requirement. The provocative proposal advanced Executive summary in this paper is to abandon a kind of spatial regulation based abstract, essentialized categories (as religion) in favour of one based on external, concrete and negotiable ones (as for instance noise or traffic). To support this argument, this work discusses three interlaced, problematic “either/or” assumptions that, while central to keeping this exclusionary system active, can, if critically assessed, work as starting points for its revision. The theoretical framework is given by the conjoined reading of authors writing in critical legal geography (Braverman et al., 2014; Delaney, 2015) and in critical secular scholarship (Mahmood, 2015; Nongbri, 2013; Sullivan, 2005). Chapter 3- The (sur)real space of the of law: the impact of norms beyond mere compliance Similarly to the former one, this third article is also concerned with the way law is spatialized and influences a sociospatial context, but approaches the issue from a different, and more theoretical, angle. It thus questions: what does it mean for a law to be spatially effective? To reply, the paper first considers the idea of law effectiveness as implied in two important paradigms. The former – instrumentalist – understands effectiveness as mere compliance of some action to what dictated by the rule, reducing law’s impact to its literal accomplishment (or its coercive application), casting any other eventuality as occurring out-of-the-law. The latter – constitutive – understands it as rules ability to create meanings, becoming integral to social life. Then, looking for an alternative that could proficiently and systematically be applied in urban and geographical inquiries, the paper proposes to look at law effectiveness as operativity. This means to closely consider how law is creatively inhabited, actively up-taken by society, variously transformed, and finally embedded into tangible outcomes. In other words, in this latter view any norm that has a causal relation with an action can be deemed effective, so that the impact of a norm is not confined to mere compliance. The key to this understanding is provided by the concept of nomotropism (namely acting-in-light-of the rule) initially developed by Conte (2000, 2003) and then taken and refined by other Italian philosophers of law Di Lucia, 2002; Fittipaldi, 2013; Passerini Glazel, 2012). Overall, this dissertation calls for a further examination of how planning and law are relevant to the way diversity takes place in the urban context. In this perspective the research aims to provide some insights on how spatial regulation can be rethought if one wishes for it to play a different role in responding to the challenges posed by an increasing plural population.

Diversity taking place.The relevance of planningand law in the location of plural religious claims / Morpurgo, Daniela. - (2021 Apr 28).

Diversity taking place.The relevance of planningand law in the location of plural religious claims

MORPURGO, DANIELA
2021-04-28

Abstract

Most Italian cities are characterized by the presence of numerous Catholic Churches, which are often placed in central locations and distinguished by their beauty. It is, however, very rare to encounter non-Catholic, purposely built places of worship. Despite the increasing migration and the increasing number of non-Catholic communities, in Italy minority religious groups are often gathering in former warehouses or commercial spaces on the outskirts of cities. Starting with this observation on the dissonance among an apparently homogeneous cityscape and an increasingly diverse religious demography, this Ph.D. research inquires into the way that planning and law are involved in the accommodation of (religious) diversity. Since “those seeking to create, modify, or reject elements of the built environment must of necessity engage with the planning system of their city” (Fincher et al., 2014, p. 35), and since religious place-making is not an exception to this, then observing the process leading to the formation of new places of worship can offer an effective measure of how the current Italian planning framework is capable, or incapable, of accommodating diversity, especially religious and ethnic diversity (Dwyer et al., 2016) Against this backdrop, some of the key questions guiding this work include: how do administrations handle new claims for religious space and what is the role of planning in the strategies they mobilize? What idea of religion is imprinted in space and through what tools does the imprinting occur? Is our understanding of the working of law apt for the analysis of complex urban phenomena such as (the often conflictual) location of religion? and if not, how is this understanding to be improved? To address these questions, which look at the location of religion from different angles, the dissertation is structured in three articles (each corresponding to a chapter) which intend to shed light on this core issue mostly relying on planning, critical legal geography and critical secular scholarships. The research is based in Veneto – a region located in Italy northeast and particularly suitable for research because of demographic, political and legislative factors. The methods used are prominently qualitative, this both because of the scarcity of quantitative data on the subject and because of the types of questions to be answered. They, in fact, require a close-up look which can hardly be gained through the analysis of aggregated information. Also, the suitability of qualitative methods is confirmed by their wide application in the research of authors interested in the location of diversity, in particular religious diversity. Material used include both primary sources (mostly semi-structured interview and site inspection) and secondary one (press, judiciary sources and planning documents). Chapter 1- The limits of planning: Avoidance, concealment, and refusal of religious diversity in northeast Italy. This first article looks at the way public local administrations handle the emerging demands as stimulated by increasing religious diversity. Once identified three response strategies – those of avoidance, concealment and refusal – the article brings the attention on those elements of planning that support this (regressive) approach to Executive summary diversity by systematically favouring the maintenance of a religiously homogeneous religious landscape. More specifically, the paper identifies technical, cultural and political limits that, by contributing to the creation of a twin-track of recognition and legitimacy among religious groups, hinder planning possibility to contribute to the realization of different, more diverse, cities. Research has been conducted during six month fieldwork (from March to December 2019) in Veneto region. Here, mostly through semi-structured interviews, the situation of nine municipalities has been examined; they range from very small centres (from 3 thousand to 10 thousand inhabitants) to large ones (over 200 thousand inhabitants). The theoretical framework used for this article refers to three different, although related, nuclei. The first includes contributions discussing the conflictual nature of “the sacred” in public spaces and increasingly diverse urban contexts (Chidestar & Linenthal, 1995; Knott, 2001; Kong, 2008). The second considers the position of critical scholars challenging a “progressive” understanding of planning, in favour of a more complex understanding of the relationship between its “political” and “technical” dimensions (Mazza 2002, 2009; Yiftachel, 1998). Lastly, the third builds upon authors writing within critical secular studies (Asad, 1993; Cavenaugh 2009), focusing on the relation among the “religious” and the “secular”. Chapter 2- Stories of “mosques out of place”: planning beyond the ideology of use conformance. The second article starts from where the former has left and, mostly through the analysis of secondary material, concentrates on examining the way in which the legal category of religion is imprinted in space through planning practice. Questions guiding this works include: is there some tool responsible for the spatial definition of religion? and, if yes, which assumptions over religion are hidden and maintained by it? Is there some room to rethink those assumption and the way we inscribe religion in space? In the last few decades, many have turned their attention to controversies surrounding the location of Muslim groups and have pointed out how, frequently, law and planning are instrumentally used to articulate racist and Islamophobic feelings in more acceptable or “neutral” language. In this sense, complaints about unconformity with building and land use have been interpreted, together with arguments over noise, parking and hygiene, as excuses mobilized to get rid of some group, generally Muslims. Throughout the examination of some cases of “mosques out of place” this paper argues that there is more to the issue and that discourses over use conformity are not mere excuses. Finding how procedures requiring land and building use conformance are guilty to normalize and keep unaltered socio-cultural expectations about both religion and space – resulting to be among the first responsible of both direct and indirect exclusion – the paper then consider a revision of planning in which use conformity is not anymore held as being a prominent requirement. The provocative proposal advanced Executive summary in this paper is to abandon a kind of spatial regulation based abstract, essentialized categories (as religion) in favour of one based on external, concrete and negotiable ones (as for instance noise or traffic). To support this argument, this work discusses three interlaced, problematic “either/or” assumptions that, while central to keeping this exclusionary system active, can, if critically assessed, work as starting points for its revision. The theoretical framework is given by the conjoined reading of authors writing in critical legal geography (Braverman et al., 2014; Delaney, 2015) and in critical secular scholarship (Mahmood, 2015; Nongbri, 2013; Sullivan, 2005). Chapter 3- The (sur)real space of the of law: the impact of norms beyond mere compliance Similarly to the former one, this third article is also concerned with the way law is spatialized and influences a sociospatial context, but approaches the issue from a different, and more theoretical, angle. It thus questions: what does it mean for a law to be spatially effective? To reply, the paper first considers the idea of law effectiveness as implied in two important paradigms. The former – instrumentalist – understands effectiveness as mere compliance of some action to what dictated by the rule, reducing law’s impact to its literal accomplishment (or its coercive application), casting any other eventuality as occurring out-of-the-law. The latter – constitutive – understands it as rules ability to create meanings, becoming integral to social life. Then, looking for an alternative that could proficiently and systematically be applied in urban and geographical inquiries, the paper proposes to look at law effectiveness as operativity. This means to closely consider how law is creatively inhabited, actively up-taken by society, variously transformed, and finally embedded into tangible outcomes. In other words, in this latter view any norm that has a causal relation with an action can be deemed effective, so that the impact of a norm is not confined to mere compliance. The key to this understanding is provided by the concept of nomotropism (namely acting-in-light-of the rule) initially developed by Conte (2000, 2003) and then taken and refined by other Italian philosophers of law Di Lucia, 2002; Fittipaldi, 2013; Passerini Glazel, 2012). Overall, this dissertation calls for a further examination of how planning and law are relevant to the way diversity takes place in the urban context. In this perspective the research aims to provide some insights on how spatial regulation can be rethought if one wishes for it to play a different role in responding to the challenges posed by an increasing plural population.
Diversity, Planning, Law, Religion
Diversity taking place.The relevance of planningand law in the location of plural religious claims / Morpurgo, Daniela. - (2021 Apr 28).
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
2021_PhDThesis_Morpurgo.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Tesi di dottorato
Licenza: Accesso gratuito
Dimensione 6.97 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
6.97 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12571/21681
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact