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Time as infrastructure: For an analysis of contemporary urbanization


Besedovsky, Natalia; Grafe, Fritz-Julius; Hilbrandt, Hanna; Langguth, Hannes (2019). Time as infrastructure: For an analysis of contemporary urbanization. City, 23(4-5):580-588.

Abstract

Overlapping and interlinked dimensions of time are shaped by and, in turn, structure contemporary urbanization and everyday life. This Special Feature debates the implications of such temporal dynamics for our cities: It explores the making of temporalities, the power relations in and through which this process is embedded, and the inequalities that its effects entail. Beyond definitions that focus on the material characteristics of infrastructures, the Special Feature understands temporalities themselves as infrastructures: structures that underlie and powerfully shape current forms of social organization and interaction. Considering time through this analytic lens promises to elucidate the ways in which political, social and economic conditions shape and exert authority over the everyday urban, as well as the material and social effects of such dominations. The papers assembled in this Special Feature unite scholars from different disciplines, probing this infrastructural lens to understand the structuring effects of urban temporalities in relation to central issues of contemporary urban development, including urban mobility and transnational migration, the politics of financializing urban infrastructure, urban energy transitions and climate risk. Moreover, thinking through the making of temporal infrastructures—that is, disentangling temporal authorities and their underlying power structures—allows thinking through opportunities for action and political change. In sum, these contributions advance three aims: to strengthen and enrich the analytical notion of infrastructure; to facilitate new knowledge about the construction of present, past and future temporalities; and to unveil potential entry points for social interventions that aim to establish empowering approaches towards urban equality and inclusion.

Abstract

Overlapping and interlinked dimensions of time are shaped by and, in turn, structure contemporary urbanization and everyday life. This Special Feature debates the implications of such temporal dynamics for our cities: It explores the making of temporalities, the power relations in and through which this process is embedded, and the inequalities that its effects entail. Beyond definitions that focus on the material characteristics of infrastructures, the Special Feature understands temporalities themselves as infrastructures: structures that underlie and powerfully shape current forms of social organization and interaction. Considering time through this analytic lens promises to elucidate the ways in which political, social and economic conditions shape and exert authority over the everyday urban, as well as the material and social effects of such dominations. The papers assembled in this Special Feature unite scholars from different disciplines, probing this infrastructural lens to understand the structuring effects of urban temporalities in relation to central issues of contemporary urban development, including urban mobility and transnational migration, the politics of financializing urban infrastructure, urban energy transitions and climate risk. Moreover, thinking through the making of temporal infrastructures—that is, disentangling temporal authorities and their underlying power structures—allows thinking through opportunities for action and political change. In sum, these contributions advance three aims: to strengthen and enrich the analytical notion of infrastructure; to facilitate new knowledge about the construction of present, past and future temporalities; and to unveil potential entry points for social interventions that aim to establish empowering approaches towards urban equality and inclusion.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Uncontrolled Keywords:Geography, Planning and Development, Urban Studies
Language:English
Date:3 September 2019
Deposited On:20 Feb 2020 08:29
Last Modified:13 Mar 2020 15:16
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1470-3629
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/13604813.2019.1689726

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