New SNF Project on City and Migration

April 2019

Luca Pattaroni, Maître d’enseignement et de recherche, Laboratory of Urban Sociology, EPFL │ Luca.pattaroni@epfl.ch



The LaSUR (Laboratory of Urban Sociology) at EPFL is launching a 4-year SNF interdisciplinary research project under the direction of Luca Pattaroni entitled "(In)hospitalités urbaines. What place for the precarious newcomer in the cities of Geneva and Brussels? ». 

 The LaSUR (Laboratory of Urban Sociology) at EPFL is launching a 4-year SNF interdisciplinary research project under the direction of Luca Pattaroni entitled "(In)hospitalités urbaines. What place for the precarious newcomer in the cities of Geneva and Brussels? ». This project proposes to question and compare, through the examples of Geneva and Brussels, the evolution of forms of hospitality in European cities. Working with the project leader, there will be 4 researchers (Joan Stavo-Debauge, senior researcher; Maxime Felder and Guillaume Drevon, post-doctoral researchers; Marie Trossat, PhDd candidate).
Urban hospitality seems to be changing profoundly in cities subject to strong land and regulatory pressures that are leading to the disappearance of wastelands, informal niches and, in part, working-class neighbourhoods. In this context, what are the responses of associative and institutional structures and are they sufficient to make room for newcomers in precarious situations? What are the possibilities of taking place today in European cities and what are the new faces of (in)hospitality? 
In order to answer these questions, an interdisciplinary research team (sociology, geography, architecture) will document and map over several years the spatial and social trajectories of a large array of newcomers in precarious situations in Geneva and Brussels. 
On the one hand, we will analyse how these people manage to settle in the city: how and where they find shelter, food, social relationships, care, work or even stay busy during the day. On the other hand, we will study the economic, political and legal transformations of urban areas and the recomposition of institutional, private and market responses to reception issues.
By multiplying methods and using a comparative approach, this project aims to contribute empirically and theoretically to the debates on the effects of increased mobility and migration on the common life of contemporary cities and the evolution of urban forms of precariousness.