Labour migration as a temporal practice in peripheral cities The case of Comăneşti, Romania
Comăneşti, a small town in Romania’s Moldova region, has been significantly affected by migration to Western Europe over the last decades. Yet, the development of the city cannot fully be grasped with the notion of ‘shrinking’. As migration is often temporary and as migrants maintain multiple ties with their place of origin, they rather forge a specific tem- porality of urban development that is shaped by rhythms of absence and presence; that is oriented towards future returns; and that echoes the cycles of transnational labour markets as well as immigration policies of destination countries. This paper, on the one hand, shows how the temporality of Comăneşti is constituted and stabilised by temporal facets of labour migration practices. On the other hand, the paper illustrates how Comăneşti’s temporality infra-structures the economic and social life of the city and materialises in its urban space. In so doing, the paper does not only seek to contribute to the debate on time, urban development, migration and peripherality by turning to the ‘departure cities’ of trans- national migration, but also seeks to advance the idea of ‘time as infrastructure’ by illustrating how it is maintained and reproduced in practice.
Coman, R., Grubbauer, M., König J., 2019. Labour migration as a temporal practice in peripheral cities The case of Comăneşti, Romania. In: City, 1-12.