Tuning the city: Johannesburg and the 2010 World Cup Ajustando a cidade: Joanesburgo e a Copa do Mundo 2010
Urbe : Revista Brasileira de Gestão Urbana
This paper is about space, security and control, how their relationship unfolds in the contemporary city, how normative ordering(s) emerge out of the urban 'mess', and specifically how this occurs in the extraordinary spatio-temporal context of the mega-event (ME). Theoretically inspired by contemporary ecological and post-phenomenological strands of geographical research, and empirically grounded on a fieldwork carried out in the city of Johannesburg during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the paper
... eks to think the urban spatiality beyond the familiar dichotomies in which it is usually forced,2 addressing the multiple agglomerations of human and nonhuman, tangible and intangible elements which constitute it. The main purpose is to account for the way the spacing of the World Cup impacts on such spatiality or, in other words, for how the orderings of the mega-event and that of the city encounter, and with what consequences. This goal is pursued by focusing on discourses, practices and perceptions of safety and security, given the key role they play in the production of urban order and in the implementation of MEs, as well as the paramount significance they assume in the context of post-apartheid South Africa, and particularly in its most troubled metropolis, Johannesburg. I believe that more sophisticated theorisations and less conventional methodologies are needed if we are to grasp the spatial impact of mega-events on the city, whose deeply contextualised and always unique outcome must be emphasised against the tendency to develop standardised ways to look at it. This paper is a partial move in this direction.