Presenting a paper on Emplotting Urban Change: Turning Soft Knowledge into the Built Environment at the Annual Meeting of Finnish Geographers, University of Tampere, 29.10.2015.
The paper is part of a session on soft and hard planning, with Vesa Kanninen, Pia Bäcklund and Simin Davoudi.
“This paper examines the importance of narrative concepts – emplotment, in particular – for the understanding of contemporary urban planning practices. Planning has increasingly been understood in terms of narrative, as a form of “persuasive story-telling” (Throghmorton 1996). Drawing on narrative and literary theory, however, has been rare in planning theory to date. Narrative emplotment (White 1981) can
provide an analytical framework with which to analyze planning narratives and rhetorics, and the dialogue between planning narratives and stories told by local stakeholders. One of the key arguments made is that narrative theory may constitute a key to examine and adapt cities’ and citizens’ soft knowledge, which is largely encoded in sets of stories (including literature, media narratives, biographies).”