Relational cities and enclave urbanism in the ‘Singapores of the West’ — How niche sovereignty strategies and political economy helped minor metropolises to globalise. The cases of Geneva and Luxembourg


CALL: 2015

DOMAIN: SR - Spatial and Urban Development





HOST INSTITUTION: University of Luxembourg

KEYWORDS: Globalisation, relational cities, enclave urbanism, niche sovereignty strategies, Luxembourg, Geneva, Singapore, qualitative comparative case studies

START: 2016-05-01

END: 2019-04-30


Submitted Abstract

This project addresses three main issues. First, the proposed project will deal with the increasing degree of global integration of certain places, an integration that is not related to their economic or population size but which is an outcome of their specialisation and the politics of niche-sovereignty. This will be done by drawing on the idea of relational cities and the example of three cities: Luxembourg, Geneva and Singapore. Second, the project will em-phasise the urban-regional implications of the integration of these cities into global processes, with particular attention being paid to the emergence of specialised locales that are rather distinct and, in locational terms, separated from others. Here, it is the concept of enclave urbanism that will be mobilised to frame the development and implications of actually existing enclaves in the three relational cities investigated. And third, the project will interrogate the links between the macro-scale notion of the relational city and the meso-level concept of enclave urbanism by exploring how both of these imply similar governance attitudes and practices. This will be done by juxtaposing the traditions, beliefs and dilemmas of the key actors involved in both the original development of the case study cities as relational and of those responsible for the generation of enclave urbanism. By investigating three enclave spaces in each of the three relational cities, the project will both strengthen the central concepts, develop a theoretical link between them on the basis of governance practices and generate insights on the three cities and their urban systems.

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