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The Permanence of Temporary Urbanism

Normalising Precarity in Austerity London

Mara Ferreri

194 pages
Amsterdam University Press
Temporary urbanism has become a distinctive feature of urban life after the 2008 global financial crisis. This book offers a critical exploration of its emergence and establishment as a seductive discourse and as an entangled field of practice encompassing architecture, visual and performative arts, urban regeneration policies and planning. Drawing on seven years of semi-ethnographic research, it explores the politics of temporariness from a situated analysis of neighbourhood transformation, media representations and wider political and cultural shifts in austerity London. Through a longitudinal engagement with projects and practitioners, the book tests the power of aesthetic and cultural interventions and highlights tensions between the promise of vacant space re-appropriation and its commodification. Against the normalisation of ephemerality, it presents a critique of the permanence of temporary urbanism as a glamorisation of the anticipatory politics of precarity which are transforming cities, subjectivities and imaginaries of urban action.
Author Bio
Mara Ferreri is an urban and cultural geographer. She is VC Research Fellow in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences at Northumbria University, UK, and is the co-author of Notes from the Temporary City (Public Works, 2016).