Navigating Pop‐up Geographies: Urban Space–Times of Flexibility, Interstitiality and Immersion

Harris, Ella R S. 2015. Navigating Pop‐up Geographies: Urban Space–Times of Flexibility, Interstitiality and Immersion. Geography Compass, 9(11), pp. 592-603. [Article]

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Abstract or Description

‘Pop‐up’ has become a ubiquitous expression over the past decade and is used to designate a diverse range of temporary and mobile places and events. While pop‐ups are increasingly noted in geographical literature they are rarely given the spotlight, usually mentioned alongside related forms of temporary urbanism. However, I argue that pop‐up demands direct attention as the readiness of diverse groups including retailers, governments, cultural organisations and charities to take up the term suggests its logics have a particular purchase in contemporary cities. Surveying the emerging literature on pop‐up geographies, I propose that pop‐up is an arena in which space–time is being reimagined in ways that are increasingly influential. Specifically, I identify flexibility, interstitiality and immersion as three of pop‐up's key spatiotemporal imaginaries and explore the urban processes which each imaginary implies and enables. I argue that these ways of imagining and distributing space–time have a particular instrumentality in cities characterised by recession and austerity but also widespread redevelopment and gentrification. Against this backdrop, I explore the ambiguous politics of pop‐up's spatiotemporal imaginaries, considering the often contradictory ways in which they are mobilized by a broad range of urban actors.

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22 September 2015Accepted
27 November 2015Published

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Date Deposited:

08 Jan 2019 14:12

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 17:02

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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