Multi-sensory ethnography and vertical urban transformation : ascending the Peckham Skyline

Jackson, Emma and Benson, Michaela and Calafate-Faria, Francisco (2021) Multi-sensory ethnography and vertical urban transformation : ascending the Peckham Skyline. Social and Cultural Geography, 22 (4). pp. 501-522. ISSN 1464-9365

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In this paper, we offer a conceptual and methodological intervention that demonstrates how multi-sensory ethnography might enrich critical analysis of vertical urban transformation. Through the lens of two sites in Peckham, southeast London – a multi-storey car park and an ex-industrial warehouse complex – recently remade as leisure and retail spaces, we examine how processes and practices by which these spaces at height are designed and curated reproduce social and spatial inequalities. As we argue, in retraining the vantage point of research on verticality through attention to other senses – which we label here as non-ocular vistas – new perspectives and texture are brought to understandings of place-making, that address how power functions through the erection of physical, symbolic and sensory exclusions, and how sensorial clashes makes visible contestations over space in a changing urban environment. In this way, our contribution: (1) privileges a multi-sensory perspective in understanding how power is reproduced in and through the vertical transformation of the city; (2) intervenes in research on verticality to centre the concept of non-ocular vistas; and (3) offers a methodological innovation that make visible the subtle affects that manifest the politics of exclusion within spaces at height.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Social and Cultural Geography
Additional Information:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Social and Cultural Geography on 05/04/2019, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? cultural studiesgeography, planning and development ??
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Deposited On:
07 Jun 2021 09:10
Last Modified:
17 Feb 2024 01:14