Revitalization and ruination in the entrepreneurial city

Authors: Eric Sarmiento*, Texas State University - San Marcos
Topics: Urban Geography, Social Theory, United States
Keywords: urban revitalization, materiality, affect, assemblage thinking, homelessness, policing
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 18
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper examines the deterritorializing vectors of entrepreneurial or ‘creative city’ revitalization in Oklahoma City, focusing on the dynamics of stasis and ruination in the fabric of the unevenly revitalizing city. Drawing on ethnographic research I conducted in the city — particularly with Oklahoma’s local food movement, which played an important role in revalorizing urban spaces — I explore the embodied dissonances and lines of flight that can emerge as capital reinvestment, new businesses, and well-heeled consumers encounter long-neglected landscapes and their inhabitants. In particular, I sketch the contours of three central tensions: between local food movement proponents and homeless residents, between the social justice aspirations of the local food movement and the inequalities of redevelopment, and between decay and new construction in the built environment. The paper concludes by reflecting on the politics of subjectivity understood as a process of assemblage.

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