Assembling urban regeneration? Resourcing critical generative accounts of urban regeneration through assemblage
McGuirk, P. M., Mee, K. J. & Ruming, K. J. (2016). Assembling urban regeneration? Resourcing critical generative accounts of urban regeneration through assemblage. Geography Compass, 10 (3), 128-141.
In critical urban studies, managed urban regeneration has been linked to trajectories of neo-liberalising urban policy and urban entrepreneurialism. While the insights arising from this work have been many and valuable, significant gaps remain particularly in terms of the foci of analysis and the conception of politics. In this paper, we aim to address these gaps and to reposition the conceptualization of regeneration as a performed and emergent consequence of ‘relatedness’ and as subject to a range of relational effects and determinations. To do so we work through four capacities of assemblage thinking that are particularly productive for this task: (i) revealing the relational, multiple and processual nature of urban trajectories; (ii) revealing the multi-scalar labouring involved in configuring the (socio-material) assemblages that constitute regeneration; (iii) identifying openings for multiple possible trajectories of regeneration; (iv) providing critical insights into how regeneration trajectories are constrained. We conclude with reflections on what assemblage thinking offers in terms of critically and generatively rethinking urban regeneration.