Alissia Raziano is a PhD candidate in Social and Political Sciences at the CEDEM, and also the academic assistant of this research center. In 2017, she was graduated from the University of Liège in the sociological specialized master ‘Immigration Studies’. It PhD project aim to understand the way culture is used by cities in order to grow and gain a new positive image. She is interested in different domains such as migration, ethnicity, post-industrial society, the sens of community and the creation or revitalization of identity, the urban and space studies, and of course cultural studies.
This research project aim to study the way former industrial cities are trying to transform their policy into a post-industrial scheme, in order to get out of the situation in which they are plunged, due to the industrial decline occured since the mid 1970s. The present project will attempt to gain in-depth understanding of the role of the cultural sector in devloping projects of urban renewal within Belgian ex-industrial urban settings. Charleroi and Liège, two antagonist cities in the French-speaking region of Belgium, will provide the case studies. Both are socio-economically anchored in an industrial past, but are also attempting to provide a way out of the industrial crisis in order to become acclimatized to the post-industrial era. This objective is addressed through several purposes: the construction of an urban imaginary based on the idea of renewal, the reaffirmation or/and the creation of an identity and feeling of belonging to the city, the use of the creative city paradigm in the policy making process. Moreover, as the process of urban renewal concerns different levels of the society, this project will also take into account the multiplicity of actors involved and focus on different dimensions : political, cultural, and economic.
The objective will be to analyze the way these different levels of the urban society interact, produce discourses and practices. Furthermore, an important aspect of the project will be to understand the position of Liège’s and Charleroi’s population in the urban changes according to social and ethnic division.