Night-Time Economy, Alcohol, and Entertainment in a Big City: Revitalization Strategies, Spaces of Conflict, and Night-Time Subjects in the Research on the Urban Night

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Fedor Veselov

Abstract

The article is devoted to a critical review of research on the night-time economy of cities. The focus is on the development of the economy of alcohol and entertainment in the night-time public spaces in cities across Europe (nightlife clusters, bars, nightclubs). The review examines the conceptual metaphor of the “night as frontier”; it describes the on-going transformation of social relations (primarily capitalist) not only in the spatial dimension, but also in the temporal one. The metaphor makes it possible to catch changes specific to the transition to a postindustrial model of urban development (formation of the experience economy, transformation of urban rhythms, the idea of the 24/7 city), as well as to interpret the processes of touristification, commercialization, and gentrification of urban space and the conflicts associated with them. The review describes the waves of interest in the urban night-time economy in Europe that are conventionally distinguished by researchers: from the rapid development of the night-time economy as a strategy of revitalization of city centers in the 1980s–1990s to a critical reflection on the social effects of such policies and the search for solutions to the problems of development of night-time industries. The last part of the article is devoted to the question of how the “night frontier” is arranged at the level of everyday interactions, affects, and human behavior in the city. The review cites case studies of European cities such as Rome, London, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, Budapest, Istanbul, and Newcastle, as well as the Bulgarian resort Sunny Beach (Slunchev briag) and other places. In addition, the article analyses the development (a modest one) of the research field in Russia, and throughout the review references are made to the relevant cases of Russian cities.


Text in Russian

Keywords

Nocturnal City, Night-Time Economy, Night as Frontier, Postindustrial City, Experience Economy, Public Space, Alcohol and Entertainment, Urban Studies, Night Studies


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