Interrogating Urban Crisis

22nd May 2017

New paper appearing on Online First by Bayirbag, Davies and Munch.  This is part of a Special Issue on Interrogating urban crisis: Governance, contestation and critique


The meaning of ‘urban crisis’, and its applications in concrete struggles to govern and contest austerity urbanism, remains under-specified analytically and poorly understood empirically. This paper addresses the lacuna by opening up the concept of urban crisis to critical scrutiny. It begins by exploring how urban ‘crisis-talk’ tends to over-extend the concept in ways that can render it shallow or meaningless. The paper looks, second, at different applications of the terminology of ‘crisis’, disclosing key framings and problematics. In the spirit of critical urban studies, it focuses, third, on practices of crisis-resistance and crisis-making. The paper concludes by summarising the six urban crisis framings linked to six urban problematics, in order to inform future studies of austerity urbanism and assist in developing more reflexive approaches to the concept.

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