Vie nocturne animée : moteur ou frein à la gentrification ? Conflit d’usage et enjeux contradictoires dans le quartier de la Magione à Palerme

  • Hélène Jeanmougin Laboratoire méditerranéen de sociologie, LAMES-UMR 7305, Aix-en-Provence, France
Keywords: Gentrification, conflicts, cohabitations, informale trade, public spaces


This article, based on two field surveys conducted in 2014 and 2018, proposes to explore the socio-spatials issues linked to the nightlife of the Magione neighborhood, whose gentrification is linked to the arrival of new « citadins-citoyens » inhabitants (Cattedra, Menoli 2000), the idea of a reconquest of a lost territory, and the sharing of moral standards and of good practices respecting the patrimonial «common good». In this neighbourhood, we observe conflicts linked to uses and appropriations of the public spaces between old and new inhabitants with divergent « ways to inhabit » (Authier 2001). This conflicts are crystallized in the existence of a vibrant nightlife on the neighborhood. While the old inhabitants contributed actively in the rise of the nightlife through informal trade (mainly in drinks and food), the new inhabitants perceive this nightlife as source of nuisances (noise pollution, odor nuisances ...) and insecurity. Receptive to their complaints based on legalistic and security register, the municipality has published in 2014 a decree prohibiting street vendors in the neighbourhood during the night. Since then, the nightlife saw a marked reduction and is mostly confined to bars and restaurants to the detriment of street trade and street life. This conflict about what is and what should be an urban public space during the night allows to reflect upon the different issues – residential, economic, symbolic – of the regulation and the control of this nightlife and the ambivalent and contradictory effects of a vibrant nightlife in a context of «in-between situation» of the gentrification, during which uses and ambiances of the outdoor spaces are equally important as access to housing from the point of view of stabilization of new inhabitants and transformations of the neighbourhood (Bacqué, Fijalkow 2006).