no. 46, December 2017

Suburbs and Interstices

a cura di / edited by // Mattias Kärrholm & Andrea Mubi Brighenti



The suburb is usually theorised from the perspective of urban centre/periphery relationships. What happens, however, if we observe it from the perspective of the urban interstice, or in-between space? Once we put in parenthesis the peripheral location of suburbs, new territorial dimensions may start to become visible. This is the insight upon which we invite contributors to focus their attention.

In this issue, we welcome texts that explore suburbs and suburban life from the perspective of spatial and social interstices. We are interested in exploring the social life of such suburban interstices, as well as in understanding how these interstices are always related to different territorial and social ‘investments’ in terms of affects and shared meaning.

We thus encourage pieces that take a socio-spatial perspective on suburbs as they intersect interstitial phenomena. Modernistic suburbs are usually characterised by vague spaces of unclear associations, in-between spaces such as pathways of unclear belongings, blank territories often seen as underinvested of meaning (e.g., ‘dormitory ghost towns’), but actually often full of hidden practices. To spot these practices we might need to attend various populations (children, youngsters, elderly people etc.) who are not usually in the planner’s mind and under the researcher’s eye.

At another level of scale, suburbs are often contradistinguished by clear and constantly reconfirmed borders between the suburb itself and its surroundings. It is almost a stereotype that you reach the suburb by car, or that in any case that the suburb is severed by the city by dead or ghostly in-between spaces, such as decayed brownfields, terrain vagues, large mobility infrastructures, etc.

The borders of suburbs are as much external as they are internal, given that, within the suburb itself, different areas manage to juxtapose to each other, distinguish form each other, etc. In this sense, we find an overinvestment of meaning into borders. Seen as a whole, suburbs could thus often be seen as venues of contradictory investments of meaning, associated with city commuters as well as village life, rural recreation as well as urban services.

Suburbs seem to be rich and fertile field for investigations into different kinds of interstitial production. We are open to received submission tackling the most disparate geographical contexts and from disciplines including anthropology, sociology, architecture, geography, criminology and beyond.



| Deadline for Contributions | 15 September 2017

| Article Expected Length | 1,500-2,000 words

| Information about the Journal |

| Information about the Editorial Process + Author’s Submission Checklist |