Future-Making in Times of Urban Sustainability: Maintenance and Endurance as Progressive Alternatives in the Postindustrial Era



Different times evoke different relations to the future. Recent additions look discouragingly conservative: sustaining, maintaining, and enduring describe practices that look like they are aimed at preventing change rather than provoking it. However, once we change our own expectations, we can see them as radically progressive alternatives for future-making in the postindustrial era. But what kind of futures do these practices help us and our informants to envision? And are these futures necessarily “otherwise”—and otherwise with regard to what: the state of the present or dystopian expectations of worse futures? Based on the material from a prototype postindustrial German city, I explore my informants’ seemingly disappointing attempts at maintaining urban sustainability and expand our analytic toolkit by fully contextualizing their own searches for lost futures.


Postindustrial city Future Endurance Maintenance Urban sustainability Germany Expectations Urban regeneration Presentism Methodology 


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© The Author(s) 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Durham UniversityDurhamUK

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