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Citizenship in the 'In-Between City' - Patricia Wood Seminar

In this seminar, co-hosted by the Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance and the OpenSpace Research CentreDr Patricia Wood from the Department of Geography at York University in Toronto, Canada explores citizenship in the 'in-between city'.

The German planner Tom Sieverts coined the term "Zwischenstadt" (roughly translated as "In-Between City") to describe urban development that is neither typically "urban" nor "suburban." In these spaces, large-scale infrastructure oriented towards global trade brushes up against residential communities that are often densely-populated, diverse, under-serviced, and locally-bound. This type of development now dominates new urban form in Canada and elsewhere, yet we have relatively little understanding of its economic, social and political complexity. Drawing on the results of several studies conducted for the project, "In-Between Infrastructure: Urban Connectivity in an Age of Vulnerability," at the City Institute at York University, Dr Wood considers the ways in which citizenship as a technology of governance is spatialized both by actors for the state and by citizens within this landscape. Framing this landscape not as one of neglect (as it often appears) but as one of contestation, and positing citizenship itself as a space of contest (or even conflict), she argues that the political spaces produced within it are creations specifically of these contests and conflicts, and raise questions about the potential and limitations for political action and the meaning of citizenship for residents of the in-between city.

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