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Commodification, control and civic space: findings from Manchester, UK

Massey, Joanne (2011) Commodification, control and civic space: findings from Manchester, UK. Crime Prevention and Community Safety, 13 (3). pp. 187-204. ISSN 1743-4629

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Abstract

This article focuses on the experience of the city of Manchester, England, which has undergone intense regeneration as a result of the 1996 IRA bombing and hosting the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Although the rebuilding has led to the creation of new civic spaces that are more heavily used post regeneration, certain groups (most notably youths) have been subject to increased control and surveillance. As a consequence of this, imaginative ways of legitimising the youth population's presence in such spaces led to the inception of a Peer Youth Work Project. This article recounts the struggles and contests around public space and the impact of tighter regulation and control on public space. Data analysis will explore the notion that peer youth workers (PYWs) have become agents of control themselves as they are ‘policing’ the area. An important question here is: Whose values and rules are PYWs upholding and enforcing?

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