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Urban infrastructure as materialized consensus

Abstract

© 2016 Taylor & Francis Infrastructure that shapes and facilitates daily life, such as pathways, conduits and boundary walls, constitutes one of the most dynamic forms of architecture in both ancient and modern cities. Although infrastructure is conceived and designed with particular goals and capacities, its temporal and spatial scale means that it is a constant work in progress that engages numerous agents: civic authorities design and implement infrastructure; designated agencies maintain and repair infrastructure; and ordinary people utilize, modify, ignore or destroy it. Infrastructure can be thus analyzed as a materialization of ongoing communication, in which there are often conflicts among different constituents to achieve consensus. The linguistic concepts of expert language and turn-taking are utilized to assess three brief case studies: historical New Orleans; a multipurpose micro-park in Vienna, Austria; and the archaeological city of Sisupalgarh, India.

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