The Streetscape as a Site of Urban Governance and Contestation I

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Urban Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/7/2020
Start / End Time: 11:50 AM / 1:05 PM
Room: Tower Court B, Sheraton, IM Pei Tower, Second Floor Level
Organizers: Samuel Kay, Julia Harten
Chairs: Julia Harten

Call for Submissions

The session invites papers that problematize the aestheticization of the urban built environment. We are particularly interested in papers that address, but are not limited to, the following questions:

• What are the spatially diverse ways in which the urban environment is understood and problematized as a domain of governance?
• In what ways is (im)migration testing the dominance of techno-scientific approaches to urban governance? And is aesthetic governance a response?
• What ideological work do aesthetics perform?
• How can design be understood as an interface between ideologies about the city and techno-scientific planning?
• In what ways are aesthetics and design supporting and legitimizing urban governance projects through the power of affect?
• What is the role of the political system and form of government?
• Given the design governance approach, what are alternative narratives, or “counterplans”? How are the diverse spatial needs of city-dwellers with unequal power reflected or contested?

We are seeking papers from a wide variety of contexts and with a diversity of methodological approaches to these questions.

Please submit an abstract of 300 or less words to Sam Kay ( and Julia Harten ( no later than October 20. Participants will be notified no later than October 25.

Works cited:

Carmona, M. (2016). Design governance: theorizing an urban design sub-field. Journal of urban Design, 21(6), 705-730.

Ghertner, D. A. (2010). Calculating without numbers: aesthetic governmentality in Delhi's slums. Economy and Society, 39(2), 185-217.


This session searches for the role that aesthetics and design play in (re)writing the dominant urban spatial order given our current moment of rapid urbanization. State interventions in the built environment through design have a long history (Carmona, 2016). But with rapid urbanization, growing cities are seeing an influx of migrants that are challenging “global city”-aspirations with immigrant urbanism (Ghertner, 2010). Informal uses of the street as major public space –vending, construction, transportation– are inspiring a resurgence of aesthetic normativity in the midst of re-negotiations of state–society power relations. This has taken varied forms, including appeals to historical preservation, futurism, and greening.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Miza Moreau*, University of Glasgow, Urban commoning and urban morphology: tactical opportunities in residential laneways 15 11:50 AM
Presenter Julius Chiang*, , Designing Urban Neighbourhoods: Enacting urban potentialities through social and spatial practice 15 12:05 PM
Presenter Sarah Hosman*, Drexel University, “ ‘To Hell With Urban Renewal:’ Resolving the Cultural Legacy of a Federal Housing Program” 15 12:20 PM
Presenter MyungIn Ji*, University of Kentucky, Reinventing the Past: A Symbolic Landscape of Hanok Villages and Gentrification in Seoul 15 12:35 PM
Discussant Rebecca Summer University of Wisconsin - Madison 15 12:50 PM

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