Publication: Brex City: Current and Future Urbanities of the United Kingdom/Republic of Ireland Border
The political crisis produced by the UK’s June 2016 referendum decision to leave the European Union, ‘Brexit’, has brought focus on the UK/Republic of Ireland (RoI) border as a microcosm of the renegotiation of the territorial relationship between the EU and UK. The location of the UK/RoI border results from the internationalisation of former county boundaries. Its status reflects shifts in connectivity across a border created from within what was historically a single territory. Settlement around this border reveals spatial utilisation, type, and patterns that are particular to this place. A dispersed urbanism has emerged, actively embodying difference; between legal structures, tax regulations, building and urban codes, currency fluctuations and cultural values, united by freedom of movement. Building types, settlements and localities where access and egress is only possible by passing through another state reflect a relationship with the border that objectively embodies the lived reality of territorial difference. Through a process of critically reviewing the current border condition, identifying latencies and potentialities through enquiry by design, this paper proposes possible futures for this place. Brex City is a unique urbanism embodying a range of possible futures, mirroring the challenges, absolutes, ambiguities, paradoxes and tensions established by Brexit.
Brexit, Borders, Frictionless/Seamless, Urbanism