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Projective cities: provoking and constraining overflow in urban development
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
2015 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

For 54% of the global population, living, working and playing takes place in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 66% 2050. Considering the importance of cities, organization scholars have become interested in the way organizing is translated into ongoing actions and how these actions are assembled in the city context. This paper describes urban development as a situated practice and proposes a conceptual vocabulary comprehensive enough to incorporate the complexity of such strategic endeavours as the performing of a 'city of culture'. Our group of researchers followed the materialization of a large developmental cultural initiative, attempting to understand how organizing were shaped in the context of this initiative. As a way of analysing ongoing actions, we refused to treat the city as a stable and separate entity; rather, we saw the city as a meshwork: heterogeneous assemblies emerging on its terrain. Such assemblies are open to multifarious ways of organizing which mixes initiatives in nets of action. This is certainly obvious in the cultural arena where various activities are meshed together comprising an overflow of cultural expressions. Such expressions entertain, provoke and instil reflexivity among the citizens but also raise the question of how these activities can be managed by organizational devices. In our case public, private and voluntary initiatives became assembled, in concert and contest, and were repeatedly translated into what we conceptualize as projectified practices. These practices included creation of a temporary organization as a way to timely manage short-term activities, but also projective elements as a way to strategize long-term investments related to urban development as a whole. Such practices opened for new collaborative efforts comprising multiple projects and multiple arenas, but also resulted in new excluding mechanisms significant to what can be called the projective city.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
meshwork, projectified practices, projective cities, culture-driven growth, narrative dualities
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-109988OAI: diva2:860079
31st European Group of Organization Studies (EGOS) Colloquium. Athens, Greece, July 2-4, 2015.
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, P12-0973:1
Available from: 2015-10-10 Created: 2015-10-10 Last updated: 2016-06-14Bibliographically approved

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Wåhlin, Nils
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Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE)
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