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Scale and the construction of urban space: Temporary re-scaling in Lahti, Finland, during the European Union meeting of 2006

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There has recently been discussion on the framings and representations of scale, in particular ways in which scales are constructed and used in legitimizing contrasting views. In these debates, scale has been regarded as an epistemological rather than an ontological question. Moreover, scale has been seen as processual instead of regarding it as a pre-given structure. Drawing on the debates on scale framings and the processual ideas of scale, the article focuses on the temporary framings of scale related to occasional events. The interest is in the discursive framings of scale, and also in the ways in which temporary re-scalings are materialized and embodied in urban spaces. This is illustrated with material related to a European Union meeting that took place in the city of Lahti in Finland in 2006. The case demonstrates how scale-thinking occurs within the city and how an event can produce temporary framings of scale. Using newspaper articles, interviews, field notes, and photographs, the article examines which viewpoints on scale were expressed during the EU meeting, and what kinds of scalar strategies were used in legitimizing different views.

Keywords: European Union (EU); cities; events; scale framings; temporariness

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2011


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