Polin V., Bertani M. (2018)

L’anima della città attraverso lo sguardo degli homeless. URBANISTICA INFORMAZIONI2018pp. 101-105.



This article aims to explore, using a qualitative approach, the relationship between ‘homelessness’ and ‘city’. The empirical work took place during 2016 in Verona, a middle-size town in Northern Italy and involved 13 participants with different profiles of housing deprivation. Our methodological approach gives ‘voice’ to homeless and involves them as active social actors in the fieldwork and in the data collection. We adopt participant-driven-photo-elicitation technique (PDPE). Participants received a mandate to describe the relationship with Verona city, using a disposable camera. Results suggest that the relational, symbolic, emotional and material aspects of the city emerge from the photos and from the words of the participants. Our research underlines the importance of place identity concept: it can be used as a framework for understanding homelessness in a wider perspective and for designing effective and innovative public policies.