This article investigates the lived experiences of tenants staying put in two neighborhoods undergoing urban renewal processes and increased rent levels in Uppsala, Sweden. The article is drawing on a place sensitive analysis to escape a ‘Euclidean prison’ that we contend underpin many displacement studies; studies that reduce the notion of displacement to only signify out-migration. Such studies often miss both the scope of displacement, and the grievances experienced by tenants following changes in place and space under various urban transformation processes. Through phenomenologically inspired interviews with tenants, we contend that place cannot, as it often is in practices of urban development, simply be understood as coordinates on a map, but has to be understood relationally. Adhering to such a place-sensitive understanding of space our study asks what changes to place and to ‘home’ is experienced by tenants staying put in neighborhoods under increasing displacement pressures. What surfaces is a series of displacements that can be categorized as spatial dispossessions; thematized under subcategories ‘contraction of home’ and ‘withering entitlements’, and temporal dispossessions; categorized under ‘life on hold’ and ‘erasure of history’. These displacements are suffered by tenants who despite displacement pressures have remained throughout the renewal process.
- Urban renewal