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Friday, April 10 • 9:50am - 10:30am
PS31.0 Everyday place making among neighborhood residents

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The “It City” moniker presents Nashville as a booming market, open for business and ready for development. Alternative narratives posit the emergence of a “second” Nashville alongside the prosperous one that is characterized by economic inequity, social injustice, and gentrification. Indeed, this second Nashville exemplifies place as a creation of global capitalism, racism and patriarchy (Smith 1996; Lefebvre 1974; Harvey 1996; Massey 1994). While this structural lens provides important context and is critical to our understanding of the city system, its writing of the city under-represents its permeability, multiplicity, and unfinished nature, and possibility for its reimagination (Massey 1994; Gibson-Graham 2006). As spatial theories offer, cities are made and remade, assembled, and the fluid creation of its constituents (Neely & Samura 2011; Soja 1996; Deleuze & Guattari 1987). The present study considers this third place-making process and traces it through the discourse and behaviors of residents and stakeholders in a Nashville neighborhood. Adopting a critical place inquiry lens (Tuck & McKenzie 2014) using depth interviews, participant observation, and document analysis, I explore the ways that these actors preserve and create place in the context of urban change. Specifically, I ask, what are resident and stakeholder place meanings and attachments in relation to the neighborhood and what behaviors do they enact that reflect these definitions and relationships. Further, I consider how the process of everyday place making reflects the construction of, following the framework of Neely and Samura (2011), racial space. This research intends to contribute to a deeper understanding of urban systems, reframe residents as generators of place not simply inhabitants of gentrifying neighborhoods, and offer an alternative approach to conceptualizing the booming but fragmented city.


Friday April 10, 2015 9:50am - 10:30am EDT
Biscayne Ballroom (2nd floor)