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Johan Pries

Associate Senior Lecturer

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The research interest that I am working on through my Phd project is how cities change, specifically how urban space is produced in periods of drastic social transformations. The epoch that I situate my research questions in is the transition of industrial European urban space in a Fordist-Keynesian economic system to what often is described as post-industrial urban space in a neoliberal and flexible economy. I have chosen the Swedish city Malmö to use as case study, as it tends to be understood as typifying both the earlier era of industrial cities and the kind of neoliberal urban policy and planning that seems to be driving urban change since the mid 1980s.

My main focus of study is the municipal planning department archives in Malmö, as well as related sources generated by various other planning bodies. The investigation thus far has attempted to contexualise the language of planning discourse as circumscribed by various types of everyday instabilities and tensions. The issue at stake is if its possible and productive to recast urban planning, so often unproblematically understood as the driving force in the production of urban space, as the mediating level between entrepreneurial development and particularist demands, to thus read the history of cities as driven by class-contradictions in its most quotidian sense.


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