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Dr Evanthia Tselika

Abstract

The focus of this paper is on the urban neighbourhoods of the displaced State properties, which were constructed in the Republic of Cyprus from 1976 onwards to re-house the internally displaced Greek Cypriots. This was a large scale, low cost State housing project that resettled people, according to income and family size, in purposefully built neighbourhoods, which were constructed on the edges of urban environments. Through the State housing policy a new social identity was constructed, which was recongised as a refugee or internally displaced person, i.e. a social group which felt labelled by their spatial positioning in the built environment. In this paper the experience and construction of the Cypriot refugee/displaced persons neighbourhoods is discussed, as well as the question of temporality through the concretisation of the ‘camps’ into ‘neighbourhoods’. The paper addresses the ambivalent framing of these urban spaces (in terms of the figure of the internally displaced person and the refugee) and the political manipulation of the displaced persons by the State. Notions of labelling, social class and segregation are also discussed in relation to the urban development of State housing in Cyprus.

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Keywords

social housing, displacement, segregation, refugee identities, urbanism, housing

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