Torsten Feys (Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee)
This session looks at the integration of different types of immigrants in Mediterranean cities (Valencia, Thessaloniki & Istanbul) between the early modern period to the present. While some attention goes to reconstructing their migration patterns the papers focus on how and where they established themselves in different urban contexts. In doing so they raise questions about inequalities between newcomers and locals, not least on housing and labour markets over time.
Attempt of Resolving the Refugee Settlements' Inequality in the New State-built “Phoenix” Settlement of Thessaloniki, Greece
Sotiria Alexiadou (University of Thessaly)
State Housing Programs, Refugees Restoration, Greece
World War II and the ensuing civil war of Greece delayed the rehabilitation program of the dislocated refugees of 1922-1924 population by at least 40 years. In Thessaloniki, the refugees had occupied various areas in the outskirts of the city, in shack that they had built themselves; therefore, they were referred to as “shack- dwellers”. The living conditions were most unsuitable. A large percentage of residents lacked access to indoor water while a smaller percentage to electric power. The public spaces of these settlements were also improper. Streets were soil paved and there was no sewerage system. As expected in a bottom-up settlement development, considering the emergency, no public and communal areas were planned.
After the stabilization of the political situation in the early 1960s, special housing programs were undertaken for them. In a former rural area on the outskirts of the city, the Ministry of Social Welfare planned the relocation of the “shack- dwellers” into an entire new settlement of 19.3 ha, named “Phoenix”. The proposed Master Plan was inspired by modern urban planning principles. The residential problem was addressed through low-rise buildings, ensuring the optimal living conditions in the 1444 apartments of various types. In order to upgrade the living standards of the inhabitants, education, religious, recreation, commercial and social welfare facilities where established in “Phoenix”.
Although the settlement was a paradigm of urban development for the Greek standards, various issues emerged. Even if the top-down approach of the urban and housing planning was well studied, the social architecture was lacking levels of complexity. The former social network of the new inhabitants was woven bottom-up in a rather small human-scale form of urbanization. Its interruption in combination with the scale of the modern city, led to increasing the social distancing inside the settlement and the city. Despite the several urban amenities within the settlement, Phoenix could not function as an independent entity and was depending socially, politically, economically and culturally on Thessaloniki.
The research is based on archives and publications related to Greek State housing policies.
Immigrants and Floating Population from the Cantabrian Coast in Valencia (1478-1516)
Inazio Conde (Universidad de Cantabria)
Foreigners, Immigration, Commerce
This paper will address the issue of mobility of the population between the town-ports of the Cantabrian Sea of the Crown of Castile and Valencia, the most active port of the Crown of Aragon in the period between 1478 and 1516. We are interested in their geographical origins, trades, business, family ties, and the urban distribution in Valencia. We will also highlight that those people were new dwellers, such as craftsmen, merchants and hoteliers, in contrast with the floating population composed by sailors, skippers or prostitutes.
This process of immigration, which had been already taking place both in the 14th and 15th century, intensifies at the end of 15th century, as reflected by the appearance of some institutions. We have also analized the institution, known as the Consul of biscayan and guipuzcoan, who linked two different categories of foreigners in Valencia, resident and floating population.
In order to illustrate this subject, we are interested in two different historical sources which inform us about these aspects. Firstly, the notarial protocols of Jaume Salvador in the Kingdom of Valencia Archive, whose customers were, in many cases, foreign merchants, and the notaries Jaume Casanova and Johan Montfort from the Archive of the Patriarch. Moreover, we have studied the records of the new dwellers in the City Archive. These three archives keep several testaments and contracts that report about the business and life of the people from the Cantabrian town-ports.
City and newcomers: case study on Šibenik in 15th century
Ante Birin (Croatian Institute of History)
Middle Ages, Dalmatia, Foreigners
The flow of goods and men which since the beginning of the period of the High Middle Ages became more intense on the eastern coast of Adriatic used to cause, among other things, more frequent arrivals of foreigners into Dalmatian towns, into Šibenik too. Following given trade routes, they were, for a shorter or longer time, directly involved in the social and economic life of the city, becoming its inhabitants (habitatores). From previous studies, it is known that most of these newcomers were from the hinterland area of the Dalmatian cities and that they mostly satisfied communal needs for labour force. Newcomers from the neighbouring Dalmatian towns as well as from Italian cities were mostly officials, soldiers, artisans and traders, i.e. those whose political, economic or social activities were fitting into the development of the commune, therefore easily fitting into host society. This study, primarily based on archival documents of Sibenik’s notaries, would explore from which cities and areas newcomers mainly used to come into Šibenik, what their professions were, for how long they used to stay, what financial statuses they had, what kinds of family structures and relationships with the locals they used to establish, which types of properties (houses, lands) and ownership (permanent or long-term possession, lease) they used to acquire, etc. Such an exploring would ultimately allow a comparative analysis of the socio-economic development of Šibenik with development of other urban centres on the east coast of the Adriatic Sea and on the Apennine peninsula, also in wider region.