"(Un)certain spaces": disquiet and the city
Martin Lamotte (CNRS/EHESS)
Maria Anita Palumbo (LAA/LAVUE+ENSASE)
Ferdinando Fava (University of Padova/LAA-LAVUE UMR 7218 CNRS)
Michel Agier (EHESS-IRD)
Thursday 12 July, 11:30-13:15, 14:30-16:15, Friday 13 July, 9:00-10:45 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

What are the connections between uncertainty and contemporary cities? Is there still space for uncertainty within the city? Acknowledging the tendency to domesticate "uncertain" spaces in the city, we would like to cross fieldworks on spaces that embody uncertainty in order to question them.

Long abstract:

In the context of a neo-liberal society where a number of conceptions chaired in the industrial city are no longer relevant, cities are in tension between a continuous transformation and the will to regulate and control this movement by a security and urbanism agenda. Uncertainty is part of the result and is expressed in different ways that this session would like to highlight. First of all, an uncertainty of belonging. If territories and limits changes, in a world where mobility has become a value, what is it to be a "citadin" or a "citizen" ?

Uncertainty also refers to the question of the production and practice of security. With the growth of public-private partnership, who produces security and for whom? How does it shape a particular form of living and being in the city?

Finally, uncertainty finds a spacialized expression in the city where we witness a silent process of polishing of public space, which takes place via public policies, juridical laws, and architectural choices. This process, while it tends to produce a city without conflicts and contradictions, involves in the same time a reduction of fortuitousness. We can question the social efficiency of uncertainty in social relations against the valorisation of previsibility. The question here involves also a distinction between the formal and informal city.

The aim of this panel is to discuss how the notion of uncertainty obligates us to re-interrogate the city and can shape, or not, a particular anthropology of urban transformations.