Religion and the city: A review on Muslim spatiality in Italian cities

Chiodelli F. (2015), “Religion and the city: A review on Muslim spatiality in Italian cities”, Cities, 44: 19-28

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This paper focuses on the spatial impacts and characteristics of the Muslim presence in Italy. The centrality of religion for many migrants has significant consequences on the morphology of the Italian cities. This is especially the case of Islam, which is now the second most important religion in Italy – and the prevalent religion among immigrants. After examining facts and figures about the Muslim presence in Italy, the paper focuses on two aspects of the Muslim urban presence. First, it analyses the residential patterns of Muslims, with reference to the case of Milan. The tendency towards a sprawled pattern is highlighted. The paper then analyses the four main ‘landmarks’ of the urban presence of Muslims in Italy: places of worship, halal butcheries, burial-places, and forms of public life. A discussion of the evolutionary prospects of Muslim spatiality in Italian cities over the next few decades follows these analyses.

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