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Eventual Publics: an enquiry on socio-material participation in El Campo de Cebada, Madrid

Martín Sainz de los Terreros, Jorge; (2021) Eventual Publics: an enquiry on socio-material participation in El Campo de Cebada, Madrid. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This research begins with a hypothesis: what if, rather than thinking about public participation as an instrument of planning and urban design, we consider it a socio-material performative phenomenon; in other words, what if, rather than trying to design, organize, devise or implement public participation, we understand it as something that already happens in everyday urban ordinary practices. To develop this dissertation from this point of departure, I focus on ‘eventual publics’, a concept that combines the idea of ‘eventual urbanism’—which accounts for practices developed in temporarily used urban sites—and the pragmatist understanding of a public as a ‘set of actors affected by an issue and organised around it in order to solve it’. In particular, the research analyses the case of El Campo de la Cebada—a publicly owned urban site in Madrid managed by a heterogeneous group of people—and concentrates at the specific relationship between temporality and materiality. Drawing on an STS perspective—and particularly using ANT—the argument is built around three questions: How are communities and collectives formed? How is conflict managed? And how are care practices deployed? Based on a five-month fieldwork developed in El Campo de la Cebada during the summer of 2015, a visual ethnography was performed to dwell into these questions. The ethnographic account emerging from that experience delves into three very specific and situated practices: (1) accessing the site, (2) dealing with a noise complaint, and (3) watering the plants; three very ordinary practices thickly described that allow me to show the fluid nature of socio-material collectives formed during the enactment of participation, the ways in which issues are governed in a welcoming and radical open manner, and the different relationships between heterogeneous entities materialised thought affective practices of care. Ultimately, the aim of this thesis is twofold: on one hand, to foreground the intimate, mutual and intertwined relationship between temporality and materiality, which shapes both urban theory and practice, and on the other hand, to consider how the incorporation of a socio-material enquiry into urban studies could have an impact in the development of urban thought.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Eventual Publics: an enquiry on socio-material participation in El Campo de Cebada, Madrid
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Planning
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10121911
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