07 January, 2018

PhD Defence, Evan McDonough, Geography & Spatial Planning

This Tuesday, Evan McDonough will be defending his thesis entitled, 

Global flows, local conflicts and the challenge of urban governance: Managing the urban-airport interface in London, UK

January 9, at 14:00
in the Black Box of the MSH
Campus Belval

Whilst often taken for granted, transport flows, airspace and urbanisation at ‘ground level’ are deeply intertwined. This dissertation situates London’s current controversy regarding aircraft noise and within new understandings of urbanisation and the role of transport flows within the urban realm, analysing the contested spatial relations stretched across the three-dimensional terrain, where the urban-rural, global-local and public-private spatial divisions are polarised by the negotiation of aircraft noise. Drawing from empirical evidence related to existing noise pollution issues and the expansion of aviation infrastructure in the South East, airspace will be interpreted here as part of the transformation and extension of the urban fabric above the built environment of the urban region, comparable the peri-urban extension and dispersal of the urban across the horizontal plane. Specifically, this study draws from empirical qualitative evidence of London Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport, and the local places which experience noise pollution emanating from the various, changing flight paths to and from these airports within and surrounding London’s urban boundary. Theorised as the relational, interscalar urban-airport interface, constructivist approach focuses on the constellation of public and private institutions and actors who co-constitute this interface and manage aircraft noise in the context of ongoing airspace modernisation, the intensification of aircraft activity and pending airport expansion. The aim of this study is to contribute a nuanced understanding of the relationship between places and flows to urban geography.

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