Valuation practices, value conflicts and coordination in urban development: The case of active frontages design in urban regeneration

Abstract: This thesis contributes to an ongoing discussion between the classic field of urban studies and the emerging field of valuation studies, the latter being devoted to the study of valuation as a social practice (Helgesson and Muniesa, 2013). The thesis is oriented around the questions of: How valuation practices in urban development can be conceptualized; Why certain articulations of value gain legitimacy rather than others, and; How friction between values are expressed and resolved. The questions are explored through an ethnographically inspired case study on the development of active frontages in the area of Masthuggskajen in Gothenburg, Sweden. The case is presented in two papers. The first paper develops a framework by Metzger and Wiberg (2017) to study the framing of urban qualities and values in inter-organizational urban regeneration, whilst the second paper builds on the work of Stark (2009) and Farías (2015) to explore the mundane practices and strategies employed to coordinate value conflicts in urban-codesign. The thesis illustrates how valuation practices in urban development can be construed as an omnipresent practice where human actors and artifacts collectively articulate the value of urban space. The thesis also highlights the role that mundane strategies and practices of coordination play in framing certain accounts of value as legitimate rather than others. Finally, the thesis portrays value conflicts as an omnipresent phenomenon, the resolution of which happens through various mundane strategies and practices of coordination.

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