- Edited by Giovanna Sonda, Istituto Regionale di Studi e Ricerca Sociale (IRSRS), Italy, Claudio Coletta, University of Trento, Italy and Francesco Gabbi, IUAV, Italy
By focusing on the interplay between material, social and narrative dimensions of the city, this book examines urban complexity, namely the dynamic and entangled nature of urban issues, and puts forward a notion of the city as an urban texture. Taking an innovative interdisciplinary approach, it perceives the way cities are organized as a restless stratification of materials, meanings and uses, and deals with the interrelationships between actors, places, administrative rationalities and artefacts. It argues that urban fabric is 'manufactured' in this interplay between imagery and practices (of all the stake-holders, including planners, city managers and city users).
Illustrated by in-depth empirical studies from across Europe and Latin America, the book explores material and symbolic aspects of the urban experience. In particular, the contributors focus on the less visible ways of organizing urban spaces, such as those enacted and embodied by local news, artefacts such as signals, maps, regulations, public acts, artistic performances, sensory experience and collective memories. The book offers an articulated discussion on these various means of spatial organisation, thereby providing insights into situations of conflict and proposing innovative ways forward for enhancing urban sociability.
Contents: Foreword: the city narrated, the city organized?; Introduction: urban plots, organizing cities, Giovanna Sonda, Claudio Coletta and Francesco Gabbi; The graphical performation of a public space: the subway signs and their scripts, Jérôme Denis and David Pontille; The wall and the mobile phone: organizing, governing, resisting, Andrea Mubi Brighenti; Redefining the right to the city: representations of public space as part of the urban struggles, Stavros Stavrides; Hybrid cities: narratives of urban development and popular culture, the case of Medellín (Colombia), Beatriz Acevedo and Ana Maria Carreira; Organizing urban space: tools, processes and public action, Lavinia Bifulco and Massimo Bricocoli; Public sphere in times of governance: public action, disputed building and local cultural system in a northen city of Italy, Vando Borghi and Claudia Meschiari; Transition, memory and narrations in the urban space: the case of East German cities, Barbara Grüning; Transforming spaces: translation as a practice that reveals changing e-motional structures in space, Daniela Allocca; Bibliography; Index.
About the Editor: Giovanna Sonda, Istituto Regionale di Studi e Ricerca Sociale (IRSRS), Italy, Claudio Coletta, University of Trento, Italy and Francesco Gabbi, IUAV, Italy
Reviews: 'In this is highly original book, the contributors plot a new approach to analysing cities. Instead of understanding cities as composed of buildings and people, they look at cities as narrations through organisation. Cities, we learn, produce stories in which things and signs, buildings and citizens connect.'
Michael Guggenheim, University of London, UK
'… a thoughtfully constructed, engaging collection that brings together qualitative work done in a range of urban contexts - including cities in Italy, France, Germany, and Colombia - by authors with backgrounds that include sociology, urban planning, history, and literature.'
Journal of Planning Education and Research
The editors are founding members of: Professional Dreamers
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