Emergent Places

Book chapter in: Actor Networks of Planning (Rydin, Tate, 2016, Routledge, Oxon & New York)

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Van Wezemael / Silberberger. In many places across Europe people and governments commit to a cutting down of the use of (cultivated) land. The transformation, however, calls for interventions into the urban texture, into existing neighbourhoods, social relations and existing policy routines, and it usually involves assets of private owners or investors. The chapter explores the fuzzy zone between real estate and neighbourhood development. It elaborates on some crucial (as well as very practical) differences between ANT traditions and (more open) Deleuzian thinking such as assemblage theory. It does so by drawing on a current redevelopment project in the airport region of Zurich, Switzerland. This case study shows that developing urban areas towards more living quality, spatial justice and environmental sustainability largely depends on the coupling of usually (carefully) separated fields such as economy, policies, town planning, politics, infrastructure, or architecture. Mobilizing ANT concepts as well as ideas from complexity thinking, we trace and map out a rhizomatic process of urban development with its surprising turns and open outcome.

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