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The Temporality and Rythmicity of Lived Street Space

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisCollection of Articles

Details

Original languageEnglish
PublisherTampere University
Volume190
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-03-1387-6
ISBN (Print)978-952-03-1386-9
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2020
Publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Publication series

NameTampere University Dissertations
Volume190
ISSN (Print)2489-9860
ISSN (Electronic)2490-0028

Abstract

This dissertation, in short, examines the temporalities and rhythmicities of day-to- day urban mobility practices on the city street. Streets, and other mobility-centred spaces of the city, are the main stages of public urban life – they are essential to how we (routinely) use and interact with the built environment, connect to our neighbourhoods, and encounter other city dwellers – and thus play a key part in the making of liveable, sustainable and just cities. Examining the street as a mobile assemblage, the study probes and conceptualizes some of the key rhythms that emerge from such daily mobility patterns of the street, aiming to draw a detailed picture of the recurring urban (micro)temporalities from a mobilities perspective that partially constitute the ‘lived’ aspects of the day-to-day built environments. The theoretical framework on temporalities draws from various conceptual lineages, notably a Lefebvrian rhythmanalytical framework, and defines the studied mobility rhythms of the street as the inseparable relations between spaces, times and mobile embodied practices. The practical research focus is set on the grassroot-level embodied mobilities. Here mobility practices are understood in a broad sense (following a new mobilities paradigm) as activities that, whilst physically moving people from place A to place B, also produce meanings, experiences, sense of belonging, socio-material interactions, imageries, and (mobile) cultures in the process. Utilizing various mobile research methods (in-depth go-along interviews, participant-produced photographs, route videos and route maps; extensive videoed site observations), and by taking a postphenomenological research perspective, the dissertation examines recurring walking and driving routes, and the mobile event of day-to-day street space in two major Finnish cities. The analysis of the data – presented in four research articles (#01–04)– reveals, on one hand, how people (inter)subjectively make sense of and modify the rhythmicities of the street (and the city in general) inside their own mobile daily routines, and, on the other, how people – through their (mobile) uses of the space – produce temporal, or momentarily perceivable, architecture of the street by adapting to, or contesting, pre-set rhythmicities. The analysis further reveals different mediacies (#01) and processes of pacing (#02) of such rhythmicities, the role of urban morphologies in the formation of these rhythmicities (#03), and the time-sensitive rhythmic modes of appropriating the street through mobile uses (#04). The work proposes that the emerging rhythmanalytical research framework is an applicable and advantageous mode for approaching and mapping the urban phenomena that are inherently caught in a continuous flux and flow. In the case of the day-to-day street space, rhythmanalysis can be used to reveal micro-level (next to macro-level) temporalities that depict the street as a site of multiple heterogeneous and simultaneous temporalities and timings. Likewise, rhythmanalysis, helps us to understand the complexity of urban mobilities and day-to-day routes beyond their strictly functional means, revealing the multiplicities of temporal relations in such recurring body-environment relations. Together, they are able to draw a nuanced picture of some of the key urban structures, mapping both formal (planned and designed, set from the ‘above’) as well as informal (accidental and routine-like, set from the ‘below’) mobility structures of the city. They highlight the continuous, rhythmic and arrhythmic, pulses of human activity in the city, the intensities of the urban fabric. In other words, they reveal multiplicities of the beat of the city and its streets, both the planned and designed as well as the ones produced by their inhabitants on the move.

Field of science, Statistics Finland