Consulting completed: temporal aspects of expertise in urban development during times of fast policies
- Department of Geography, University of Hamburg, Bundesstr. 55, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
Abstract. Consultants, especially management consultants with their expertise in markets and entrepreneurial thinking, have gained a new role in urban policy. Urban politicians, facing ever-increasing international competition as well as diverse urban crises, search for immediate solutions, at times drawing on professional advice. This paper introduces the role of management consultants in urban policy in the context of fast policies. These new policies are often both developed over short periods of time and built upon predesigned concepts. Taking six German cities as examples, I frame the impact both of the duration of consultancy projects and of the moment when the consultants leave as temporal aspects of expertise that significantly influence how the external knowledge eventually shapes local political practices. I show that short-term consulting first causes a stimulus for change but then primarily results in an ambivalent amalgamation of professionalization and selectivity as permanently fast modes of everyday policymaking.