Timescapes of Urban Change – one week to go

Join me on the 29th of November 2016 at the public event for Timescapes of Urban Change! Here are the details:

Timescapes of Urban Change: Barcelona and London – a regeneration comparison

Tuesday 29 November 2016, 18.30 – 20.15
UCL Harrie Massey Lecture Theatre, 25 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AY

Focusing on two cities that are exemplars of their urban regeneration in recent years: Barcelona and London, Monica Degen will bring together urban professionals and academics to reflect, from a long-term perspective, on the role of time in the construction and experience of these two cities. By doing this, the event will situate questions around temporality at the forefront of the research agenda on urban change.

Simone Abram (Anthropology, Durham University)

Bob Allies (Allies and Morrison Architects)

Monica Degen (Brunel University)

Carme Gual Via (Barcelona City Council)

Euan Mills (Future Cities Catapult)

Mari Paz Balibrea (Cultures and Languages, Birkbeck)

Mike Raco (Planning, UCL)

Organised by Dr Monica Degen (Brunel University) as part of her British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship.

The panel will be live streamed on the UCL Urban Laboratory Facebook page. Visit from 18.30 GMT on 29 November 2016.


to book a place:




Barcelona Event Programme

TIMESCAPES OF URBAN CHANGE: El Raval – the process of transformation

Public Event: Ian Sinclair – “The Last London: A City Abolished”

Monday 12th of December 2016 @ 6:30pm

venue: Auditori, CCCB

life stream: http://www.cccb.org/en/multimedia/live

Tuesday 13th of December 2016 @ 9:30am workshop

venue: Aula 1, CCCB

Organised by Dr. Monica Degen, Brunel University


This event aims to put the question of temporality at the forefront of the research agenda on urban change. While the making of urban space is in many ways a materialisation of the passing of time, those using the city create and inhabit a diversity of temporalities. Timescapes of Urban Change is part of an international project exploring the implications of this dynamic from multiple angles. The event will be launched on the evening of the 12th of December 2016 with a public talk by author Ian Sinclair: The Last London: A City Abolished, whose writings on the city, and London in particular, have long dealt with questions of time and temporality.

Thirty years have passed since Barcelona was appointed to host the 1992 Olympic Games, an event which transformed the city’s urban reality. Building on our previous workshop in London, where we compared the regeneration of Barcelona and London, the workshop on the 13th of December will hone in on the el Raval neighbourhood bringing together a variety of urban professionals and academics. Drawing on 20 years of work on the urban transformation of el Raval, we will focus on the process of regeneration in this neighbourhood, and in particular on how a diversity of everyday temporal practices interact, contest and align themselves with institutional times in urban regeneration projects. We are especially interested in thinking through how different temporal attachments and uses of space developed by locals, new migrants and tourists frame, support or disrupt urban renewal processes and communal living. Do we need to conceptualise urban planning and urban citizenship in new ways? As Sandercock (2003) asks: “how can ‘we’ (all of us), in all our differences, be ‘at home’ in the multicultural and multi-ethnic cities of the 21st century?”

To encourage discussion, present and understand different temporal dimensions of regeneration in cases we know or have been working on, all workshop participants are asked to send an image (please add name and title of picture) representing time/temporality and regeneration to Victoria [email protected] by the 7th Of December 2016. These images will be used as a slideshow throughout the debates, and to structure the small group discussions.

As the workshop is part of an international project, the main language spoken will be English during the discussion. However, presentations will be in English or Spanish.

Public event: 12th December 2016 – Auditori CCCB

18.30 – Ian Sinclair The Last London: A City Abolished
19.30 – Q & A
20.00 – Close

Workshop: 13th December 2016 – Sala Mirador CCCB

9.30 – Welcome and introduction to event by Monica Degen: “Timescapes of Urban Change” and Miquel Fernandez (Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona): “Recuerdos del Futuro: imaginarios del Raval”
10.00 – Abdou Maliq Simone (Max Plank Institut, Göttingen) “Time after Time: Experiments with Duration and Endurance in urban Southeast Asia”
10.40 – Discussion
11.00 – Coffee
11.15 – Panel Debate on el Raval, time and urban regeneration [Moderator: Victoria Habermehl (Brunel) & Clare Melhuish (UCL)]
11.20 – Carmen Gual Via (Foment Ciutat Vella): “Raval? Which one?”
11.30 – Euan Mills (Future Cities Catapult): “London: How should user needs affect the design of the built environment?”
11.40 – Eva Alfama (Consellera Raval): “El Raval: espacio público, diversidad y derecho a la ciudad en la era de la globalización y la turistificación”
11.50 – David Bravo (Director European Prize for Public space, CCCB): “Barcelona: the rapid death of slow living”
12.00 – Oscar Esteban (TOT Raval – Community Group): “La co-operacion entre los actores del Raval”
12.10 – Mari Paz Balibrea (Birbeck): “Los tiempos cambian: transformación urbana y experiencia de la temporalidad en El Raval desde los años 80”
13.45 – Lunch at CCCB
14.45 – Discussion groups: time as a factor in urban life [Moderator: Victoria Habermehl (Brunel University)]
15.45 – Coffee
16.00 – Presentation by groups and discussion
17.00 – Close

Talk at workshop: Sensory Theory, Methodology and Experience – University of Kent

Tomorrow I’ll be giving a talk with Astrid Swenson (Brunel University) on Researching time, the senses and the urban

In this paper we discuss the ways in which we can access methodologically the diverse and multiple timescapes that converge or conflict in the urban to produce a particular sense of place in the contemporary city. We will draw on two research projects to illustrate the multiplicity of temporal narratives, practices, and ideologies which operate at different speeds and intensities in areas of urban change and how to research how they are expressed through the built environment, policy practices and everyday life.

First, we will be drawing on a case study of a street in Barcelona to discuss a theoretical approach to timescapes of urban change. Focusing on the neighbourhood of el Raval, we will explore how the organisation of time can be theorised in areas that have been experiencing long time regeneration processes. While the making of urban space is the materialisation of the passing of time, and time and space are the forces that frame and shape urban capitalist economy, there has been a distinct prioritisation of space over time in the analysis of new urban spaces. This has often led to a ‘fixity’ of space in the analysis of urban regeneration, with studies focusing on a moment in time rather than viewing urban redevelopment as a long term and historical process and place-making as a temporal practice. We argue that urban redevelopment processes need to be analysed over time and across various temporal-spatial layers such as the global, local and personal realms.

Secondly, to illustrate how to research these temporal processes along and across time, we will draw on a project that has brought together both academics and urban professionals (architects, urban planners, museum curators, artists) in three cities across Europe to develop a sensory methodology toolkit. Here we will discuss the considerations, possibilities and constraints that a diversity of inter-disciplinary and cross-professional methods bring to researching historically embedded places from a sensory perspective. In particular we will be suggesting a ‘dialogical approach’ across disciplines and professions to develop methodological frameworks that allow to assess how far the experience of the urban is historically or time specific. We suggest that only through this dialogue we can explore how far methods developed for understanding the present can be applied to historical sources and how, in turn, a greater understanding of the historicity of sensory experiences might lead to a less static approach in the present. Ultimately, in this paper we argue that to understand the time and place specific features that govern sensory-emotional responses to the urban need methods that transcend disciplinary and professional frameworks.

Further information: https://www.kent.ac.uk/secl/classics/news/?view=6462

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