Institutional ethnography: a transformative mode of inquiry in the renovation of a Brussels high-rise housing estate

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2 Citaten (Scopus)


In spite of a clear interest in ethnography and institutions, the method of institutional ethnography has been underexplored in the planning field. This paper looks at its critical potential in the renovation process of the high-rise social housing estate of Peterbos, Brussels. By doing, it sheds light on its transformative capacity. Using multiple approaches of institutional ethnography enabled us not only to develop a better understanding of local communities in planning processes, but also to argue for an increased self-reflexivity and responsiveness of institutions, essential for creating a more critical planning practice. We conclude institutional ethnography can inform planning practice in two ways. First, the approach can help planning scholars reveal power relations and explore grounded collaborative practices, based on everyday concerns of inhabitants and institutions. Second, any actor operating within and beyond the institutional field of planning can strive for ways of knowing that are embedded in everyday life experiences. However, this requires to embrace open-minded perspectives and open-ended inquiries in those locations where institutional policies and practices are being felt.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)392-408
Aantal pagina's17
TijdschriftEuropean Planning Studies
Nummer van het tijdschrift2
Vroegere onlinedatum30 mrt 2022
StatusPublished - 2023

Bibliografische nota

Funding Information:
This research was supported by JPI Urban Europe/ENSUF and Innoviris [grant number RBC/2017 ENSUF 4]. The authors wish to thank the institutions mentioned in the paper (the social housing companies Comensia and Foyer Anderlechtois; the municipality of Anderlecht and the SLRB) as well as the residents and frontline workers of the Peterbos neighbourhood for their eagerness to share their views and concerns.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Copyright 2023 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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