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Title: Temporary space in Amman: a co-creation of everyday activism and state flexibility
Authors: Kamal, Ohoud
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The literature about temporary urbanism has been generally focused on the context of North America and Europe. It is undeniable, though, that temporariness happens more in the global South than in the North. While such literature offers the opportunity for comparative reflection across the global North-South ‘divide’ there is still an imminent need towards exploring and learning from different contexts and divergent urban experiences. Also, very little is said about the production process of temporary urban spaces, the power relations between actors and how these relations are affected by the actors’ intentions and resources. This research aims to address this gap through exploring three cases of temporary urban space in Amman, Jordan: Ras AlAin market, Nour Al-Barakeh community garden and the ‘Vista’ at Jordan street. This qualitative research draws on documents, audio, visual and digital material as well as semistructured interviews with a range of key actors and field observations. By exploring the intentions of the temporary space activists and the state’s response to them, the case studies demonstrate that temporary space is a co-creation of everyday actions and state flexibility. This meant that on the one hand the temporary urban spaces were steered by different types of marginalized social groups that were able to come together to achieve their needs around various types of social capital. On the other hand, these temporary urban spaces also came to exist due to opportunities of agency which arise as a result of a gap in the planning framework and the state’s flexibility to urban policy sanctions. Hence, through conscious everyday actions, the social groups pursue their needs with no aim of direct confrontation with the state. These everyday actions enable these social groups to achieve those needs and have taken various forms according to: the category, resources and aims of the social group as well as the regulatory frameworks within which they exist. Whereas flexibility is a state response to the various social groups and is a strategy towards urban governance in which urban sanctions are extended, or suspended. This measure is taken by the state to preserve social order in relation to certain social groups and to resolve urban issues.
Description: Ph. D. Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape

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