Keywords: neighbourhood, use and exchange value, difference, commercial activities, immigrants
The article analyses the transformations of two Milanese neighbourhoods' commercial fabric through a theoretical approach focusing on cultural and identity dynamics but which does not neglect the role of socio-economic di¬mensions in the production of space. The analysis of Italian residents' and local entrepreneurs' representations about immigrants - who are new shopkeepers, residents or public spaces users - shows the existence of interests related either to the use value, or to the exchange value of the neighbourhood. Moreover, it highlights the different ways through which difference is conceived. The chapter concludes comparing the two neighbourhoods' situations with the urban imaginary proposed by the local administration and its discourse about the presence of immigrants in local context.