Scientific article

Events in the affective city: Affect, attention and alignment in two ordinary urban events

Published inEnvironment and Planning. A, 0308518X1875750
Publication date2018

In a representational regime, planned urban events are used by urban planners to render urban projects visible and acceptable. As a corollary of the focus of urban studies on their representational dimension and in spite of a burgeoning literature on the notion of affective urbanism, the experiential character of events remains surprisingly unexplored. This paper argues that an ordinary regime of events is mobilised by city-makers to act on the embodied, affective experience of the city and on the ways urban dwellers know and act upon the city. By analysing planned urban events in their embodied, experiential dimension, we focus on the ways in which, through the design of ephemeral material dispositives, urbanists attempt to encourage citizens to incorporate ways of knowing and acting on space and on the modalities of knowing and acting that are at play. We stage an encounter between critical event studies and Ingoldian approaches to affect and attention, examining two urban events in a Swiss canton. We show how intense encounters with urban matter are staged in an attempt to modulate affects, guide attention, and produce alignment with a specific political project, asking urban dwellers either to embody a project still in the making or to cultivate expectations regarding an already-written future.

  • Cities
  • Events
  • Urbanism
  • Experience
  • Affect
  • Attention
Citation (ISO format)
ERNWEIN, Marion, MATTHEY, Laurent. Events in the affective city: Affect, attention and alignment in two ordinary urban events. In: Environment and Planning. A, 2018, p. 0308518X1875750. doi: 10.1177/0308518X18757509
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0308-518X

Technical informations

Creation03/15/2018 9:15:00 AM
First validation03/15/2018 9:15:00 AM
Update time03/15/2023 7:58:44 AM
Status update03/15/2023 7:58:44 AM
Last indexation05/02/2024 8:02:54 PM
All rights reserved by Archive ouverte UNIGE and the University of GenevaunigeBlack