Hodson, M., Burrai, E., & Barlow, C. (2015) Remaking the Material Fabric of the City: 'Alternative' Low Carbon Spaces of Transformation or Continuity?, Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions.


This article is about re-making the material fabric of the city and the role that space plays in this. There are many ways of understanding the remaking of the city, including a range of often diverse ‘alternative’ initiatives which are enacted by neighbourhood, voluntary and civil society groups. We address the construction of ‘alternative’ urban low carbon spaces and whether these result in transformation of or continuity with dominant ways of thinking about remaking the city. Drawing on examples in Greater Manchester, UK, the article argues that, often despite the intention to promote forms of localist values and strategies as alternatives to dominant accounts of remaking the city, the hand of dominant and particularly state interests is critical in shaping ‘alternative’ spaces and strategies. This tension – between dominant and alternative – is illustrated through a five-fold typology of the role of space in alternative strategies of remaking the city.

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