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Call for papers
Special session _ Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting 2013, Los Angeles April 9-13th
Mattias Qviström, Dept. of Landscape Architecture, Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences
Greet De Block, Dept. of Architecture, Urbanism and Planning, Univ. of Leuven, Belgium
This session seeks to explore alternative ways to follow and contextualize the development of landscapes of transport infrastructures, with a particular focus on Exurbia. It aims to overcome the dominating dualistic and asymmetric interpretations of large technological systems as enclosed, monolithic, top-down engineered structures hovering above the unplanned, vernacular and messy peri-urban landscape. Recent development within relational studies of place, STS, mobility studies and critical urban theory offer guidance in tracing the fluid interdependencies between emerging infrastructures and place-making. By following everyday practices, mobilities, and (actor-)networks, it is possible to tell one story, however ambiguous, of a landscape of infrastructure instead of two separate accounts written in different academic languages. In addition, we believe that more complex and above all spatial interpretations of networked infrastructures yield a better understanding of sociotechnical systems (e.g. by addressing their materiality, territoriality, performative character, etc), as well as contribute to the literature on seemingly unordered landscapes, moving the analysis of rural-urban territories beyond conventional modernization theory.
We call for (hi)stories of Exurbia by studying it as a meshwork or a porous landscape where negotiations about mobility play a key role. Topics include, but are not limited to:
– interpretations of infrastructure as a result of everyday activities or of maintenance and repair, thereby describing it as one of several landscape practices;
– studies of the emerging landscape from the perspective of the unstable and heterogeneous networks of sociotechnicians;
– critical examinations of design proposals formulating interplays between transport corridors and landscape trajectories.
Theoretically-informed papers and case studies exploring new paths will be prioritized over conventional approaches. We are, in short, inviting for an animated and interdisciplinary discussion on infrastructures of landscapes and vice versa.