Edited by Alison Bain, Julie A. Podmore
The Cultural Infrastructure of Cities invites readers to (re)consider the ways that culture is produced, expressed and consumed within cities. It explores the micro-geographies of artists' workspaces, venues, performances and embodiments that make up the cultural infrastructure of cities and offers a fresh perspective on the role and importance of organizational structures in the cultural life of urban environments.
The book is structured around five themes: collecting culture, producing culture, performing culture, embodying culture, and consuming culture. The contributors investigate the interplay between the "hard" and "soft" dimensions of urban cultural infrastructure across a range of different sites, cities and scales and explore several key questions: How is urban culture produced in particular physical and virtual venues and with what dynamics of creativity, innovation and ensuing spatial politics? Beyond the "hard" fixity of culture, how is urban cultural infrastructure animated by "soft" networked and digital flows and relations that create tensions for governance, design and usage? How does urban cultural infrastructure adapt and respond to systemic challenges of austerity, exclusion, and inequality to articulate forms of solidarity, care and community within and beyond crises like Covid-19? And how is the cultural infrastructure of cities maintained and with what capacities to foster more resilient and hopeful urban futures?
This book will be of interest not only to students and scholars of urban studies, but also to policy-makers planning and creating cultural infrastructures as well as those working in cultural institutions and creative industries.
Alison Bain is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change at York University, Ontario. She is the North American Editor of the journal, Urban Studies and the author of Creative Margins: Cultural Production in Canadian Suburbs (2013) and coeditor of Urbanization in Global Context (second edition 2022).
Julie A. Podmore is Affiliate Assitant Professor in Geography, Planning and Environment at Concordia University, Montreal and College Professor at John Abbott College, Montreal. She is the coeditor of Lesbian Feminism: Essays Opposing Global Heteropatriarchies (2019).