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The Narrative Turn in Urban Planning


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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgements

  1. Introduction: Examining Narratives in the Context of Urban planning
  2. Narratives Matter


    Plotting the Waterfront

    The Helsinki Waterfront, Jatkasaari and Kalasatama



  3. Urban Planning and Narrative: Towards a Theory of Narrative Planning
  4. The Narrative Turn in Planning: A Critical Overview

    Different Kinds of Knowledge

    Defining Narrative in Planning

    What Is Not a Story?

  5. Narrative for, in and of Planning
  6. A Threefold Taxonomy

    Narratives for Planning

    Narrative Mapping

    Mapping the Helsinki Waterfront: A Concise Literary Case Study

    Narratives in Planning: The Brief Story of the Helsinki Waterfront

    Planning Maritime Helsinki

    Narratives of Planning: Telling the Future of the Waterfront


  7. Emplotting Urban Regeneration: Narrative Strategies in Kalasatama
  8. Emplotment as Spatial and Narrative Practice

    Situating Kalasatama within a Plot

    Metaphors of Kalasatama: "In the Armpit of the City"

    Diverging Narratives: Urban Centre or Shopping Mall?

    "How we live in 2033"

    A Meshwork of Contradictory Storylines


  9. Genre and Metaphor in Planning Jatkasaari
  10. Dominant Narratives in Planning in Jatkasaari

    Simple Story, Complex Story, and Micro-Narrative

    Narratives for Planning in Jatkasaari

    Jatkasaari's Identity Marker: The Hotel Controversy

    Centre or Periphery?

    Narratives of Planning in Jatkasaari

    A Bildungsroman for a Waterfront Development

    Planning as Bildungsroman

    "Man's Island" or "Women's City"?

    Lost Opportunities for Planning with Narrative

    Park "Good Hope"

    Sustainable Jatkasaari

    Narratives and the Building Block

    Planning with Diversity?


  11. Planning with Narrative
  12. Narrative Mapping and PPGIS

    Planning with Polyphony

    Planning without Closure

    Planning for Narrative Space

    Teaching Planning with narrative

Conclusion Sources Glossary Index

About the Author

Lieven Ameel is a university lecturer in comparative literature at Tampere University, Finland. He holds a PhD in Finnish literature and comparative literature from the University of Helsinki and the JLU Giessen and is docent in urban studies and planning methods. He has published widely on literary experiences of the city, narrative planning, and urban futures. His other books include Helsinki in Early Twentieth-Century Literature (2014) and the co-edited volumes Literature and the Peripheral City (2015), Literary Second Cities (2017), and The Materiality of Literary Narratives in Urban History (2019).


"This is a fine contribution to the planning field and will be especially helpful to those interested in the stories told around planning strategies and projects. It draws together and enriches the literature on narrative and storytelling, both generally and specifically in relation to planning and urban studies. It contains two well-developed case studies of major redevelopment projects in one of Northern Europe's major cities which illustrate the different ways narratives inform, get used in and are generated by planning activity. Many will find this book a really helpful resource."- Patsy Healey, professor Emeritus, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University, UK

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