PART I: Infrastructural Pasts, Presents, and Futures

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This edited volume addresses overlooked questions of time and temporality to advocate for a ‘temporal turn’ in critical infrastructure studies. The chapters in the book examine multifaceted temporalities – ranging from long-range planning horizons to the rhythms of everyday life in the city – to build an interdisciplinary dialogue that bridges technical, political-economic, and experiential knowledge of urban infrastructure. With global coverage of cities and regions from Berlin and Toronto to Cairo and Jayapura, the book argues for the conceptual and political significance of emphasizing the social construction and experience of time through infrastructure, as well as the importance of analysing the diversity of temporal codes that infrastructure urbanization processes. Conceptually rich and empirically detailed chapters uncover the complex relationship between radical and incremental change to reveal unexpected pathways of urban and technological transformation. Moments of spectacular infrastructural development and everyday social practices invite readers to rethink self-evident and linear notions of time in and beyond the networked metropolis. By contextualizing infrastructures’ pasts and what they signify about the future, the book generates a multidimensional perspective on ‘infrastructure time’ as a research problematic, an empirical concern, and a methodological approach. In doing so, it forwards an essential provocation to re-evaluate urban theory, politics, and practice to better account for the temporal complexities that shape our infrastructured worlds.

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