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Sometimes… Sometimes… Sometimes… Witnessing urban place-making from the immanence of “the middle”.

Platt, Louise and Medway, Dominic (2019) Sometimes… Sometimes… Sometimes… Witnessing urban place-making from the immanence of “the middle”. Space and Culture. ISSN 1552-8308

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Abstract

This paper offers a critical analysis of how urban place-making as a top-down or bottom-up action, involving organisational intervention or facilitation, is typified by problematic angles of approach. Instead, we evidence a flat ontological perspective, entering into urban assemblages to feel the chaotic and ever-changing forces that make places. Specifically, we use the Deleuzoguattarian lens of the refrain to employ a transversal analysis of the place-making inherent within an urban event - the Manchester and Salford Whit Walks; a Church of England procession that has been iterated for over 200 years. This reveals the importance of always-becoming place, characterised by ongoing repetition with difference, and embodied in the notion of Sometimes… Sometimes… Sometimes… We conclude that urban place-making is not something that can be simply started through organisational intervention, or facilitation of community-led approaches, but a process which needs to be engaged with from the middle. It’s not easy to see things in the middle, rather than looking down on them from above or up at them from below, or from left to right or right to left: try it, you’ll see that everything changes. (Deleuze & Guattari, 2004, p. 25).

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