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Austerity urbanism and the makeshift city

Tonkiss, Fran (2013) Austerity urbanism and the makeshift city. City, 17 (3). pp. 312-324. ISSN 1360-4813

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13604813.2013.795332


This paper engages with a recent set of critical arguments concerning the 'post-crisis city' and the political economy of 'austerity urbanism'. The focus of the discussion is on practical interventions in the vacant and disused spaces of recessionary cities, and in particular on temporary designs and provisional uses. In this way, it opens a further line of argument about urbanism under conditions of austerity, alongside analyses of the formal politics of austerity or the possibilities of urban activism in these settings. Its concern is with forms of urban intervention that re-work orthodoxies of urban development as usual: in particular the timescales that inform conventional development models; the understandings of use around which sites are planned and designed; and the ways in which value is realized through the production of urban spaces. The argument centres on European contexts of austerity urbanism, drawing on critical examples of urban design and occupation in the region's largest economies. Such urban strategies are concerned with a politics and a practice of small incursions in material spaces that seek to create a kind of 'durability through the temporary'.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Sociology
Research centres and groups > LSE Cities (Cities Programme)
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2013 13:15
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2018 16:46

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