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2013 Transport infrastructure

Disused Transport Infrastructure in Research & Practice: Interdisciplinary & Pan-European Perspectives

A Forge Mini-Symposium hosted at the Department of Geography, University College London on 13th June 2013.

Transport infrastructure is often conceptualised in purely functionalist terms with less attention paid to its potential to act as a space for cultural practice and repository for a host of meanings. This potential is accentuated at the sites of derelict transport that are embedded in politically and economically driven cycles of investment. Such spaces can be abandoned or deliberately kept “dormant” awaiting future changes in use or reconnection to the system. Above ground, such spaces can turn into “biotopes” fuelling the imagination of artists and ecologists. Below the city’s surface they draw the attention of urban explorers or heritage initiatives.

TransportThis event takes advantage of growing interdisciplinary interest in the cultural, political and affective significance of disused spaces in order to re-think transport infrastructure beyond its primary purpose.

The symposium contributors come from both research and practice, and their presentations, based on case studies from across the UK and Europe, will consider questions relating to the meanings, practices, processes, specificities, materiality, rhetoric and aesthetics of disused transport infrastructure in a series of short presentations and open discussions. Contributors include: Tim Edensor (Manchester Metropolitan University), Ingmar Arnold (Berliner Unterwelten), Bradley Garrett (Oxford University), Katharina Heilein (Sloap Solutions, Berlin), and Petr Gibas (Charles University, Prague). Debate and discussion will be supplemented by a mixed media exhibition compiled of contributions provided by participants and attendees.

This workshop was conceived and organised by Samuel Merrill, Sandra Jasper and Anna Plyushteva at Stadtkolloquium, a post-graduate urban research network associated with University College London’s Urban Lab. The event is financially supported by The Forge, a network of social science researchers interested in novel ways of conceptualising and analysing transport and travel. The Forge is hosted at Leeds University and is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.


For full details of the presentations, click here or follow the link to the left.

Image: Sam Merrill

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