2: Rhythmic Infrastructure

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This chapter expands on the formative ideas presented by Henri Lefebvre in Rhythmanalysis. It examines the concept of ‘rhythm’ as an analytic to illuminate and connect the multitude of times that permeate the city through infrastructure. The chapter begins by assessing how urban infrastructures and social difference are animated, experienced, and understood through rhythm as repetition. It then explores the production and regulation of often conflicting natural and social rhythmic cycles, paying particular attention to the circulation of infrastructure knowledge and policy. The chapter then forwards that notions of infrastructural rhythm can productively form the basis for periodization strategies to comparatively analyse urban change. It is argued that engaging rhythmic temporal modalities is significant because how we think about infrastructure time profoundly shapes our understanding of urbanization and urban life. It is therefore a political act with the potential to reimagine and enact more progressive urban futures.

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