Light infrastructures and intimate publics in the vertical city

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This paper explores how the uneven distribution of light and darkness in the vertical city conditions residents’ capacities to form meaningful attachments to the places in which they dwell. Drawing on ethnographic material collected on a recent high-rise development in London, the paper explores how residents illuminate their homes in improvisatory engagement with the basic infrastructures that support their domestic lives and with the wider urban context. Four biographic vignettes reveal how people alter, adapt to or overturn the inadequacies of domestic infrastructures to carve out intimate spaces of inhabitation. The paper advances the idea of “light infrastructure” as a conceptual proposition for attending to the affective, esthetic and performative compositions of infrastructures in the night, and as an analytical proposition for developing a more hopeful and inclusive outlook on the ways people come to dwell, inhabit and feel at home in the vertical city at night.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-754
Number of pages20
JournalUrban Geography
Issue number5
Early online date27 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

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