Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

How Do Scholars Communicate the ‘Temporary Turn’ in Urban Studies? A Socio-Semiotic Framework

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Abstract:  Interdisciplinarity broadens urban planning praxis and simultaneously deepens how urban research unfurls. Indeed, this breadth and depth diverges and converges the understanding of current and popular concepts such as temporary use (TU)—also recognized as short-term or temporally undefined use of space. Through a meta-research, or research about research approach employing socio-semiotics and bibliometric analyses for the first time in relation to TU, I clarify the increasing scholarly attention to urban interventions by asking: How are urban scholars communicating the TU discourse? A socio-semiotic framework helps unpack the production of meanings as well as symbols channeled through the scholarly institutionalization of TU. Supporting this, I use bibliometric analyses to explicate the production and reproduction of meaning through keywords and citation networks in research literature. This study illuminates epistemological activities and reflects on directions tied to our understanding and articulation of a potential ‘Temporary Turn’ in theory and practice.

Keywords:  bibliometrics; socio-semiotics; temporary turn; temporary use; urban studies


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© Robin A. Chang. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.