Today, urban scholars think of cities and regions as evolving through networks of human associations, technologies, and natural ecologies. This being the case, planners are faced with the task of navigating a profoundly material world. Planning with and for humans alone is unacceptable: in the unfolding of urban processes, non-human things cannot be ignored. This inclusive vision has consequences for how planners envision the connections among norms, technologies and life-worlds as well as how they design and implement their plans.
The contributors to this volume utilize a variety of examples – ecologically-sensitive, regional planning in Naples (Italy); congestion pricing in New York City; and public participation in Europe, among others – to explore how planners engage a heterogeneous and restless world. Inspired by assemblage thinking and actor-network theory, each chapter draws on this "new materialism" to acknowledge, in quite pragmatic ways, that spatial politics is a process of becoming that is inseparable from the materiality of urban practices.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Planning and the politics of resistance (Robert A. Beauregard) 2. Things, rules and politics: Blurring the boundaries between formality and informality (Laura Lieto) 3. The pedestrianization of the Naples’ seafront: Assemblage thinking as a planning tool (Gilda Berruti) 4. Translation: William Vickrey and the remaking of transportation knowledge infrastructure (John West) 5. Re-assembling world and waste: Informal practices of waste picking in Naples (Laura Basco) 6. ‘Recombinant’ hybrid ecologies and landscapes: Piana Campana, South Italy (Enrico Formato) 7. Minutiae: Meeting minutes as actors in participatory planning processes (Linus Vanhellemont & Serena Vicari Haddock) 8. Mobilizing policy: Microfinance’s journey from Bangladesh to Washington DC (Linying He) 9. Normative planning research in a material world? Trading zones and assemblages (Raine Mäntysalo, Ilona Akkila & Alessandro Balducci) 10. Assemblage, assembly and difference (Attilio Belli) Final remarks
Laura Lieto is a Professor of Urban Planning in the Department of Architecture at the 'Federico II' University, Italy.
Robert A. Beauregard is a Professor of Urban Planning in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, USA.