New publication: DATUTOP 34 / Re-City. Future City – Combining disciplines

The new DATUTOP (issue 34) has been published under the title “Re-City. Future City – combining disciplines”. The Datutop series was founded in 1982 at the School of Architecture at Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland. The central themes of the Datutop publications are architectural theory and urban planning theory. The latest volume is in part based on last year’s Re-City conference. The publication is open-access:

DATUTOP 34 also features my latest article “Emplotting urban regeneration: Narrative strategies in the case of Kalasatama, Helsinki”, part of my ongoing research of narratives in urban planning. Abstract below:

Ameel, Lieven 2016: “Emplotting urban regeneration: Narrative strategies in the case of Kalasatama, Helsinki.” DATUTOP 34. Re-City. Future City – combining disciplines. 222-240. 19 pages.


Recent decades have seen an increasing interest in the narrative and rhetorical structure of urban planning. Urban districts take shape based on words as much as on concrete. Narrative elements such as rhetorical figures, storylines and plot structures are relevant not only for the way in which a particular planned area is presented to the general public or framed within local policy discourse, but also for the way in which larger visions of an urban future translate into concrete developments within the built environment.

This paper examines the planning of Kalasatama (Helsinki), an ongoing case of urban regeneration, by applying methods and concepts from narrative and literary theory to the analysis of planning documents, marketing, and media narratives. A key concern is the manner in which planning documents “emplot” a new area, both literally singling out an area within a geographical setting, and framing the development within a “plot”, a story with a specific dynamics and morality. Character, plot and metaphor will constitute the key narrative concepts. This paper draws on the burgeoning field of narrative planning theory, with the specific aim to make concepts from narrative and literary theory more compatible with existing theoretical frameworks from planning theory.

Keywords: emplotmemt, Kalasatama, narrative, urban planning


Leave a Reply