By Sofía Bernat
This first version of our essay is part of the doctoral dissertation “Socio-urban transformations and everyday life: relocation of Ringuelet’s settlement (2013-2017). Inhabiting (after) the flood”. Its aim is to analyze -from a qualitative and ethnographic perspective- a relocation process (in a settlement located in Ringuelet, La Plata, Argentina) to thoroughly understand the modes in which socio-urban transformations can modify structures of meanings and, thus, produce shared meanings as well as stressed meanings, as far as modes of inhabiting the territory are concerned. The neighborhood chosen is located on the banks of the El Gato stream and, after the flooding disaster which stroke the city of La Plata on April 2nd 2013, a relocation project began to take shape as it was deemed necessary to implement major hydraulic works at said site location so as to prevent another similar catastrophe from happening again.
It should be emphasized that in this essay we will address the modes of organization and participation of the inhabitants of Ringuelet settlement before their move as we consider community intervention fundamental – though often disregarded – for implementing urban public policies as well as having a strong influence upon results; we also consider that processes are as important as products and that space appropriation depends, to a large extent, on this. Therefore, the question from which we start is: How do these neighbors participate in building their territories and commit themselves to belonging (or rather not to cease belonging) to the city? In the end, we will also explore the type of subject and the type of society we promote -and we long for- to constitute in such processes.
It should be clarified that a qualitative and ethnographic methodology was carried out during almost four years and the techniques used were …