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Towards an Infrastructural Theory of Gentrification

15 Oct

Summary: It is my suggestion, that a more adequate, “blaming-free” analysis of gentrification requires another conception of the city – a conception, which includes the networked infrastructural and material aspects of city life, as for example Stephen Graham (2009) and Ash Amin (2012) do. Such conceptions are interesting, because they question agency as being one-sidedly human: a theoretical fruitfulness, which I will demonstrate with Jane Bennett’s assemblage theory (Bennett 2005).

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Infrastructural Citizenship

15 Sep

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Buildings, boundaries and selves

12 Sep

Important for the research on city spaces is their relationality, respectively our stance towards certain places.  One has to research on the individual (categorical or group related) “reasons” for being in a place. One’s stance toward a place and the boundaries that we bring with us influence the chance of interaction with other individuals and the creation of social coherence in the place. Furthermore, the boundaries that we draw have an influence on whether we share infrastructures or not.

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Insurgent mobility

12 Aug

As agreed, I arrive at the camp at around 4.30 p.m. I go to the info spot where a German guy in his early twenties tells me to go to the cooking tent. It is dark, windy and deserted at Oranienplatz and the last days of snow have left the place rather muddy. As I enter the tent I’m greeted by an amazing diversity of culture and age, warmth, the smell of exotic food and the loud sound of dubstep coming from a boomblaster in the corner. After talking to the resident chef for a little while I begin doing the dishes, feeling awkwardly out of place and welcome at the same time.

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Infrastructures and dependence: considerations on urban development

12 May

In this essay, I analyze urban dependence on public infrastructures in a political perspective. I discuss on crisis and vulnerability as a matter of political exclusion, and on how citizens have actet collectivelly in order to overcome these situations. At the end, I present different perspectives on the environmental crisis and their implications over the conceptualization of urban development. Continue reading

Networked Insurgency

12 May

It seems obvious to describe Occupy Sandy as a right to the city movement. Initiated by an informed public it supplied areas lacking government protection with infrastructure, food and shelter. However, I argue that this movement is particular. These particularities consist in the construction of spaces of “insurgent citizenship” and their spread into the peripheries of New York. Continue reading