Stefano Portelli

Stefano Portelli is a PhD student at University of Rome “La Sapienza”, a cultural anthropologist focused on urban dynamics of conflict and social change. He is a member of several working groups linked with the Faculty of Anthropology at the University of Barcelona, and is currently attending a PhD course in Urban Studies at the University of Rome. His interest has always been in developing a practical and engaged focus to ethnographic fieldwork, as a tool for the local communities to raise their awareness and self-confidence against oppression, class segregation and forced resettlements. He began his career with a Thesis on the impact of NGO-led development in a peripheral neighborhood of Managua, Nicaragua, then started working on the social transformation associated with the huge projects of urban renewal in Barcelona. He is one of the main promoters of the project Repensar  Bonpastor,  a  collaboration  between  architects  and  anthropologists,  aimed  at developing  a  collective  solution  for  a  historical  neighborhood  of  Barcelona  undergoing complete  demolition.

He has published in several reviews linked with Catalan and Italian research centers, and is about to publish an ethnographic work which will be edited by the Catalan Institute of Ethnographic Heritage (IPEC). He also contributed to the  organization  of  congresses,  seminars  and  events,  including  the  1st International Conference on Anthropology and Urban Conflict, held in Barcelona in November 2012.  In 2010 he moved for two years to the small city of Larache, Morocco, where he studied Moroccan Arabic and began familiarizing with local codes of communication, to prepare for a fieldwork in a near future. Currently he is working in Monitoring & Evaluation for a Chilean NGO that recently sent him to Cambodia, Thailand, Nepal and Kenya.

Stefano Portelli’s project:

The Social Impact of Urban Renewal in Peripheral Neighbourhoods: Comparative Ethnography in Mediterranean Cities

My research involves ethnographic observation and comparison among different contexts in which urban renewal and relocation had visible effects on the social fabric of the affected communities, starting from the prolonged observation of several neighbourhoods in Barcelona. A deeper study of the impacts of city regeneration is needed in our times, as architects and urban planner are increasingly becoming interested to how people inhabit and interpret space; ethnography can play an essential role in showing the need of a deeper understanding of each specific context previous to planification, as well as of a careful study of its impacts, including its relationship with social disgregation, with the loss of places, with segregation, with conflicts During the Summer Academy my aim is to extend this research to a Moroccan context I am already acquainted with: this will add depth to my research, as it will help me to understand how local history and cultures influence the specific effects of each urban renewal project.




OpenEdition suggests that you cite this post as follows:
Barbara Bishay (July 1, 2014). Stefano Portelli. eume-city. Retrieved July 21, 2024 from

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