City-REDI seminar series: Re-interrogating cities through their temporalities: towards a (re) theorisation of temporary urbanisms - Dr Lauren Andres, University of Birmingham

Room 121 Muirhead Tower
Tuesday 19 March 2019 (14:00-15:00)

For more details please contact Sarah Jeffery or Stuart Mitchell for more information.

City-REDI is delighted to invite you to our seminar series covering economics, economic geography, regional science, economic development, critical urbanism and urban policymaking. 

On the 19th of March, Dr Lauren Andres from the University of Birmingham will deliver a seminar titled "Re-interrogating cities through their temporalities: towards a (re) theorisation of temporary urbanisms".  

For several decades, claims for the need for more malleability and flexibility in the making and design of urban spaces have been voiced internationally; these principles have been considered, if not embraced by practitioners, political, scholars, artists and creators in the way they think about the production of the city and how urban spaces are thought through and shaped taking account of time and temporalities. Amongst several features of this malleability, ‘temporary’ uses or projects have been playing an increasing key role, especially in urban-based projects led by architects and urban designers. Turning to temporary urbanism has been a response to specific needs but also emerged from new orientations given to time and the nature of the planned and unplanned. Such urbanism can be defined as processes, practices and policies of and for spatial adaptability, allowing the activation of a space in perceived need of transformation, and thus of impacting the trajectories of the surrounding socio-economic urban environment. The multiple, mutually constituting and ineluctably entangled relationships between temporalities and spatialities in urban spaces have been widely debated, encompassing questions of scale, duration, and the agents of (and fuzziness between) production and consumption. Consequently, both the ‘temporal’ and the ‘urban’ can be understood, combined and deployed in various ways, tied especially to the very specific disciplines and professional bodies that intervene into the planning and designing of urban environments. Such narrow, discipline-specific understandings of both time and urbanism can be limiting and can obfuscate how other urban scholars (and specifically geographers) critically engage questions of time in and of the urban. This presentation is therefore motivated by the concern that a range of urban scholars and practitioners still seem to miss the analytical window offered by the notion of ‘temporary urbanisms’ to shape their thinking as focusing too much on the ‘temporal’ issue rather than on the mechanisms of adaptable production and transformation it involves. A re-interpretation and re-theorisation of the concept of temporary urbanisms that focuses not solely on matters of duration (and hence through the zoom of questioning cities through time) but on multiple flexible and adaptive processes, practices and policies, which work out in and through urban spaces is thus needed. Drawing upon a range of examples across different contexts, and three complementary theoretical framings, I will seek to demonstrate how a coherent – but also more agile – language that incorporates notions of adaptability (including both coping and resistance), activation (as intrinsically localised and contextualised) and trajectory (understood as the likely future(s) of any intervention) can allow to fill this gap in urban studies research.

The seminar will take place in Room 121, Muirhead Tower , University of Birmingham,  19th March 2019, 2 - 3pm.

You can find directions to the venue here.

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities