Publication details

Urban chronopolis: Ensemble of rhythmized dislocated places

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Year of publication 2017
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Geoforum
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Earth magnetism, geography
Keywords rhythm; polyrhythmia; chronotope; chronopolis; city; Brno
Description Urban rhythmicity, the topic of this paper, is to a certain extent a reflexion of the current discourse on approaches to urban research. The presented paper approaches everyday urbanism through rhythms. An urban place can be defined not only by its spatial attributes, but also through its affiliation to a particular spatio-temporal system. For this purpose the paper employs two theoretical traditions – Lefebvre’s rhythmanalysis and Bakhtin’s concept of chronotope. Lefebvre’s rhythmanalysis should be seen here primarily as a framing outline, whereas Bakhtin’s chronotope provides considerably more analytical power to delimit temporally-defined urban place as a typological category. These two traditions however offer only limited possibilities to follow temporal connections among the set of spatially dislocated places. For this reason, this paper develops Laguerre’s concept of chronopolis, reconceptualised at the city-scale level. This paper aims to (i) further explore the nature of “urban polyrhythmia”; (ii) describe particular places as specific chronotopes; (iii) identify particular types of chronotopes based on the similarity of rhythmical profiles (chronopolis); and finally, (iv) to define the city as a set of particular chronopoles. The empirical part of the paper analyses a selection of localities within the space of Brno, Czech Republic. Based on long-term observations, a daily rhythm profile was described for each of 18 chosen urban localities. Particular types of chronopoles are identified according to their common rhythmical profiles stemming from the presence and absence of human users. The empirical part of the paper identified four different chronopoles (work-cycle, return, hot-spot, centre) that enable a description of the city as an ensemble of temporally rhythmized and spatially dislocated places.
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