Homelessness and Exclusion: Regulating public space in European Cities

Volker Busch-Geertsema, Vita Karpuskiene, Jukka Korhonen, Eoin O’Sullivan, Ingrid Sahlin, Antonio Tosi, Agostino Petrillo and Julia Wygnańska

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    82 Citations (Scopus)


    Public space is an essential component of the daily life of homeless people, whether rough sleepers or hostel dwellers or others who are inadequately housed. During 2006 a group of researchers from the European Observatory on Homelessness2 considered the ways in which the increasing surveillance, regulation and control over public space, evident in all European cities, has impacted on the lives of homeless people. In this paper we chart the background to this latest phase in the ‘regulation of urban space’ and assemble evidence from across Europe and especially from our case study countries – Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, and Sweden. We attempt an analysis of these trends using concepts of ‘border control’, ‘discipline’ and ‘deterrence’. We also consider a limited number of examples of resistance by and on behalf of homeless people to the imposition of restrictions on public space access.
    In the concluding section, we reflect on related wider societal processes associated with urban regulation and surveillance and their impact on the use of public space.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)290-314
    JournalSurveillance & Society
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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