A relational analysis of contemporary planning practice
Anna-Lisa Müller (University of Bremen)
Paper short abstract:
Based on empirical data from numerous postindustrial cities, the paper presents a relational analysis of contemporary planning practice, the different (human and non-human) actors involved and the resultant power relations by using street art as particular case study.
Paper long abstract:
In the proposed paper, I discuss how the relationship between planners, artists, materiality and space can be understood from a relational perspective. Taking contemporary cities as examples, I argue that artists working in and about urban space challenge urban planning processes in a particular way and help to bring about planning as a hybrid practice. Using the example of street art, I show how material, spatial and social elements are interwoven in the artistic practice and the resulting works. At the same time, the works of art are always a reaction to and a dialogue with the planned and designed city and thus an open, sometimes implicit dialogue with the planners. As planners in postindustrial societies increasingly include such originally bottom-up projects and integrate them into their planning projects, the role of social-cultural-material assemblages for designing cities becomes evident. The proposed paper argues that only specific groups are responded to by urban planners in such an integrative way. Which groups these are depends on the discourse and is an expression of specific societal power relations; in the case at hand, the hegemonic position of creativity finds its equivalent in the relational urban planning practice. Based on empirical data from numerous postindustrial cities, a relational perspective on contemporary planning practice, the different (human and non-human) actors involved and the resultant power relations is presented.
Exploring relations of authority