Destituting urban futures: technopolitical landscapes of resilience in Miami-Dade County

Authors: Kevin Grove*, Florida International University, Allain Barnett, Florida International University
Topics: Political Geography, Urban Geography, Cultural and Political Ecology
Keywords: Resilienece, destituent politics, futurity, technopolitics, time
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2020
Start / End Time: 4:00 PM / 5:15 PM
Room: Plaza Court 10, Sheraton, Concourse Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Resilience has become a key organizing principle for urban governance in the Miami region. Local governments have adopted planning tools developed through the 100 Resilient Cities program, such as Arup’s City Resilience Framework, to reconceptualize government initiatives in terms of their contribution to four resilience components – health and wellbeing, economy and society, infrastructure and environment, and leadership and strategy. Critical scholars have critiqued such indices for rendering urban problems technical matters subject to detached expert control. However, far less attention has been paid to the contextually-specific ways multiple actors strategically engage with and take up resilience tools and devices within wider struggles over urban governance. This paper brings together STS work on technopolitics with an Agambenian understanding of destituent politics to approach resilience planning in Miami as a site of contestation over how the urban can be known and governed. While resilience techniques enable practitioners and activists to visualize multiple forms of resilience that index distinct visions of a future “resilient Miami,” contestation over possible futures revolves around a technologically-mediated struggle to destitute resilience – to desecrate resilience, to remove it from the future-oriented, cybernetic temporality of systems thinking and make it available for use in alternative political projects that address the continued impact of past violences and ongoing slow emergencies of segregated development and exclusionary governance. Resilience techniques are thus indeterminate vectors in wider struggles over how urban governance can visualize and address past, present and future insecurities.

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