Research

 

You will find a complete range of our monographs, muti-authored and edited works including peer-reviewed, original scholarly research across the social sciences and aligned disciplines. We publish long and short form research and you can browse the complete Bristol University Press and Policy Press archive of over 1600 titles.

Policy Press also publishes policy reviews and polemic work which aim to challenge policy and practice in certain fields. These books have a practitioner in mind and are practical, accessible in style, as well as being academically sound and referenced.
 

Books: Research

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This chapter examines the temporalities of infrastructure at the intersection of health, disease, and urbanization through two cases focusing on care and wellbeing in seemingly unchanging suburbia. The first case assesses the experiences of peripheral immigrant communities in Brampton, Ontario, during the COVID-19 pandemic, detailing how swift real-time community action counteracted structural infrastructure deficiencies in healthcare and governmental pandemic response. The second case explores the ‘forever present’ everyday lives of people living with dementia in the suburbs of Greater Toronto. In thinking across these examples, the chapter demonstrates how the experience of suburban life has changed, both as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the need to respond to healthcare deficiencies, and as changing mobility infrastructures have tested the ability of people living with dementia to cope with shifting rhythms of daily life in their community. Utilizing the lens of infrastructural temporality, the chapter makes connections across Toronto’s ‘sick suburbs’ to (1) demonstrate the incompatibility of existing urban infrastructures with the needs of people who have fallen out of the ‘normal’ time frames for which those infrastructures were designed, while (2) indicating how quotidian agency can enable alternative temporalities and infrastructure futures to manifest.

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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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In many cities, streets are governed for the car. Street infrastructure is allocated and regulated to prioritize high-speed travel for those in cars, typically at the cost of slowness for those outside them (and often, as critics argue, also for those inside the car). Yet the governance of streets is not fixed. This chapter examines a series of efforts by transport activists to reorient the form and regulation of streets in San Francisco. These include DIY (do-it-yourself) infrastructure, in which participants physically alter the form of street infrastructure (installing cycle lanes, crosswalks, and other unsanctioned ‘improvements’), and JAMs (just a minute), in which participants temporarily alter the regulation of street infrastructure (holding up traffic when car drivers illegally take over spaces allocated for cyclists). The chapter examines these as two related but distinct practices: (1) prefiguring, in which hoped-for worlds are physically brought into being; and (2) heckling, in which prevailing norms are comically and chaotically disrupted. The central claim in both is the same: the temporalities of street infrastructure are not inevitable, but the result of choices that could be changed – and that change can be fast.

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This chapter questions the resurgence of mega-infrastructure projects in Egypt amid dire fiscal, political, economic, and pandemic conditions. It focuses on the temporal relations underpinning the ‘territorial moment’ of Egypt’s infrastructure-led development, including the restructuring of public agencies; the expedited time frames granted to key projects; the temporal extension of credit and risk involved in the assetization and floating of financial instruments; and the underlying logics of a de-risking state. The case of the Cairo Monorail illustrates an emergent land–infrastructure–finance nexus that produces temporal, spatial, and scalar dissonances surrounding de-risking investments. This results in the restructuring of governmental institutions as well as the reconfiguration of urban spaces and temporalities. The chapter argues that by engaging with urban infrastructure almost exclusively as a temporally risk weighted asset, Egypt and the specialized financiers who inform its post-Mubarak urban development trajectory are constructing a dissonant and inequitable urban future.

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This chapter engages Jayapura – West Papua’s largest urban region – as a site to explore how the infrastructural intersections of multiple temporalities give specific shape to the city. These temporalities emerge from a tense interplay of continuously revised modalities of domination and resistance, as well as registers that are more ambiguous. The chapter develops an account of ‘Papuan time’ that exposes tensions between contracting and protracting temporalities: between modern development narratives portraying indigenous Papuans as ‘frozen in time’, the lived experience of time as ‘broken’ with the loss of national self-determination, and the extension of differential infrastructures that attempt to reclaim time amid the uncertainty of an ‘interminable present’. It is argued that these vital processes and relations shaping Jayapura serve as an infrastructure for inhabitations that suspend clear trajectories of either subjugation or liberation. Urban ‘extensions’ constitute spatio-temporal infrastructures that lend support to Papuan configurations of temporality, of momentary experiences of freedom enabling at least affective rehearsals for a national liberation that is continuously deferred.

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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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Temporality and the Making of Global Urban Worlds

Whether waiting for the train or planning the future city, infrastructure orders–and depends on–multiple urban temporalities.

This agenda-setting volume disrupts conventional notions of time through a robust examination of the relations between temporality, infrastructure, and urban society. Conceptually rich and empirically detailed, its interdisciplinary dialogue encompasses infrastructural systems including transportation, energy, and water to bridge often-siloed technical, political-economic and lived perspectives.

With global coverage of diverse cities and regions from Berlin to Jayapura, this book is an essential provocation to re-evaluate urban theory, politics, and practice and better account for the temporal complexities that shape our infrastructured worlds.

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This chapter examines the emergence of the smart microgrid as a logic of grid security that can seamlessly switch between ‘normal’ and ‘emergency’ configurations in microseconds. It contributes to further understanding of the evolving temporalities of urban infrastructure configurations in three ways. The chapter first locates the ‘always-on’ uninterruptible capacity of the smart microgrid in a series of concepts, ideas, and strategies developed in work on self-healing systems in a variety of contexts. It then traces the development of the smart microgrid in US military and urban contexts, exploring how it has become central to a logic of urban resilience that seeks to mitigate threats and prepare for future turbulence by pursuing the reconfiguration of grids into permanent ‘alert’ mode. Finally, it outlines the differential, asynchronous experience of seamless transition enabled by smart microgrids whereby new forms of socio-spatial selectivity are produced through infrastructure temporalities.

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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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Between 1961 and 1966, a group of planners and social scientists from the Harvard–MIT Joint Center for Urban Studies built a midsized industrial city from scratch on a ‘resource frontier’ in post-dictatorship Venezuela. Rather than compose an old-style ‘model town’, the Joint Center sought to document the planning process itself, necessarily elapsing over time, and abstract its lessons for application to American cities and their futures. This chapter examines how they fundamentally reconceived urban and regional fabric in terms of mobility, rhythm, process, and flow. It focuses on a high-speed road, the Avenida Guayana, as a piece of region-making infrastructure and an experiment in choreographing the visual sequence of automobility as an information-rich chain of approaches and arrivals. Along transnational circuits of the Center’s own making, the Avenida Guayana offered Cold War urbanists a way to link the felt temporality of everyday life with the presumed political temporality of stepwise state ‘modernization’. The chapter argues that the transnational debates that constellated around this city still animate attempts to theorize the place of planning as a fundamentally future-making proposition.

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