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Representing Complex Places: A Narrative Approach

Uprichard, E.; Byrne, D.


E. Uprichard

D. Byrne


The authors argue that narratives—the plural being very important—are crucial for the representation of complex urban spaces. They do this by drawing on first-hand empirical examples from a previous examination of people’s understanding of ‘postindustrial transformation’ from the past through the present to the future, and earlier work on children’s understanding of their own places in the present and the future. In so doing, they propose that the use of narratives must be part of the repertoire of approaches used to represent complex urban systems. This does not imply an abandonment of interest in or search for causal generative mechanisms in system change. Rather, it is a recognition that narratives enable human actors to express the meaning that underlies their own agency as part of their account of the trajectories of places.


Uprichard, E., & Byrne, D. (2006). Representing Complex Places: A Narrative Approach. Environment and Planning A, 38(4), 665-676.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 1, 2006
Deposit Date Mar 23, 2007
Journal Environment and Planning A
Print ISSN 0308-518X
Electronic ISSN 1472-3409
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 38
Issue 4
Pages 665-676