Urban development controversies …

Urban development controversies …


Written by:

Jonathan Metzger and Sofia Wiberg

First Published:

08 Sep 2017, 12:00 am

Urban development controversies …

Contested framings of urban qualities: Dis/qualifications of value in urban development controversies

A new paper by Jonathan Metzger and Sofia Wiberg is now available online


What makes a place what it is? What makes it valuable? Questions of this type inevitably relate to practices that articulate urban qualities. This paper investigates the processes and practices through which urban qualities are dis/qualified in urban development processes. Such practices frequently tend to focus on particular urban areas and their development, where some concrete and specific situated value is sensed to be at stake, and therefore often come to play out as struggles over the definition of the supposed ‘essence’ of a particular place, and with this, its qualities and value. The paper brings together the literatures of valuation studies and discussions of framing practices in relation to urban development. Drawing upon these theoretical groundings it conceptualises the dis/qualification of urban qualities as a form of ontological politics which articulates value by way of framing practices. Through the analysis of an empirical case drawn from a Swedish context it is argued that although values and qualities can be negotiated, it is nonetheless always highly uncertain to which degree value-negotiations will hold steady further downstream in the urban development process.

You can access and read the full article here