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3rd International Conference on Night Studies

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Nocturnal Praxis: Reimagining and Redesigning Urban Places After Dark

There are specific sensibilities when night falls, especially in urban landscapes, that open up creative exchanges between identity and place. How do the multi-sensory experiences and aesthetics of nocturnal places enable us to reimagine how those environments might be? This paper is concerned with how night affects scholars’ research and what kind of approaches might be useful through which to explore its spatio-temporality with respect to designing for urban places after dark. To illustrate this, the paper presents ‘nocturnal praxis’ – a qualitative methods approach to studying the urban night. It draws upon ongoing fieldwork based in the city of Manchester in the United Kingdom and shows how this approach has been applied to investigate how nightscapes are used, when, and by whom. Therefore, this work seeks to better understand the changing dynamics of the nocturnal city. This paper also contends that it is in the city at night where we can find fertile opportunity for imagining how places can change. This is critical as visions for place are currently dominated by representations of clean, green, and daylit urban environments that provide negligible insight into how people actually live and work in cities, overlooking the temporal qualities of place, and how this might evolve. Nocturnal imaginaries are thus presented as being vital as a means of articulating how and why the future of the city after dark might be shaped, and by whom. By doing so, this paper seeks to demonstrate how such knowledge and understanding can contribute to redesigning the future of urban places after dark.

Event (Conference)

Title3rd International Conference on Night Studies
Abbreviated titleICNS 3
LocationColégio Almada Negreiros, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Degree of recognitionInternational event