Advances in Spatial Planning by J. Burian

By J. Burian

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In summing up the conceptualization of fluidity in the social sciences it might be useful to distinguish between fluidity as, 1) an ontology, 2), as epistemology, and 3) as a certain form of practice. Fluidity in its ontological status is related to a post-structural view of a world of flows, where the reality is fluid, temporary and always in the making. In this fluid ontology the world (and the city) is conceived through an ontology of process and potential, through the work of networks of enrolment, fluid-like 32 Advances in Spatial Planning flows, and multiple encounters (Amin and Thrift, 2002).

In a special issue of Town Planning Review (Vol. 82/5 2011) on “Strategic Spatial Planning In Uncertainty,” Hillier et al. raise questions such as “how might spatial planners seek to affect and “manage” environments in undecidable situations? Can we develop theories and practices which rely less on closure and more on openness to possibilities and opportunities? , 2011: 4). To Hillier, plans are moments of stability, a temporary fixity, and spatial planning an experimental practice. Hillier argue for foresighting, speculation, and experiments because these methods entail thinking about futures that we may not be able to recognize directly, futures that do not simply extend our current needs and wants but may actively transform them in ways we may not understand or control (Grosz, 2008: 260, cited in Hillier, 2008: 34).

Ebenezer Howard, Garden Cities of To-morrow (London: S. , 1902). See also Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Vintage Books, 1961), 62-74. Jane Jacobs, ibid, 17-25. Abraham Akkerman and Ariela F. Cornfeld, “Greening as an Urban Design Metaphor: Looking for the City’s Soul in Leftover Spaces,” The Structurist 49/50 (2010): 30-35. Abraham Akkerman, “Urban Superconscious and the Return of the Garden Myth,” The Structurist 45/46 (2006): 62-68. See, for example, Henri Bergson (1896), Matter and Memory, translated by N.

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