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dc.contributor.authorFerreri, Mara
dc.identifier.citationFerreri, M. 2013. Occupying Vacant Spaces: Precarious Politics of Temporary Urban Reuse. Queen Mary University of London.en_US
dc.description.abstractTemporary urban projects are often portrayed as offering innovative and experimental solutions to the challenges of countering the negative perceptions associated with vacancy, and of providing rent-free open spaces for non-commercial activities in inner city areas. The political implications of temporary use, however, are controversial, being both celebrated as a form of participatory and emancipatory spatial re-appropriation and critiqued as a new frontier of experiential place marketing and a symptom of urban gentrification. This thesis aims to provide a situated investigation of the tension between the potential of reappropriation and its wider material conditions, to discuss the precarious politics of temporary use as a form of urban action at a time of austerity. My reflections are grounded in an ethnographic approach to practices of temporary use in contemporary London and in an in-depth study of a selection of cultural and activist projects that reclaim vacant shop fronts for community uses. In this thesis I address three main issues. The first concerns the development of the discourse of temporary reuse, and particularly of pop-up shops, between 2009 and 2011. By analysing media coverage, public events and forms of self-representation of London-based practices and practitioners, I attend to official and unofficial narratives mobilised and performed by a range of urban actors. The second issue concerns the material conditions of temporary vacant shop front reuse. In order to ‘re-materialise’ temporary reuse I engage with the often overlooked questions of access, diverse economies, and labour. Lastly, my investigation is concerned with the potential of these practices to engender radically different socio-spatial relations. Drawing on recent debates around the ‘affective turn’ in social sciences, I analyse the emotionally-charged performative openness of community-oriented shop fronts as capable of creating places where meanings and subject-positions are challenged and negotiated, offering insights into their potential for transformative urban encounters.en_US
dc.publisherQueen Mary University of London
dc.titleOccupying Vacant Spaces: Precarious Politics of Temporary Urban Reuse.en_US
dc.rights.holderThe copyright of this thesis rests with the author and no quotation from it or information derived from it may be published without the prior written consent of the author

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    Theses Awarded by Queen Mary University of London

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