Studies for ‘Inclusion and exclusion’
The key concept ‘inclusion and exclusion’ relates to how public space can construct or dismantle social and physical barriers between diverse groups. Examples include the benefits of co-presence and multiculturalism, or the ability for some groups to dominate or exclude others.
Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in post-unification Berlin, this article examines the re-articulation of the problematic of “the social” in city planning. It juxtaposes the contrasting visions of city planners and youth workers for Alexanderplatz, a controversial square in Berlin’s eastern centre. I argue that the notion of “robustness” is helpful in understanding an important contemporary shift in thinking about planning and the social. In a sense, both planners and youth workers accused each other of taking insufficient notice of “the social.” While planners spoke of robustness as a technical, economic and aesthetic quality to which public space needs to aspire, the youth workers’ vision for Alexanderplatz was a proposal for a kind of “social” robustness where the social is, quite literally, built into the urban design. These ethnographic observations need to be understood in a context where city planning has been one of the most critical domains in which the tensions provoked by German unification are played out. Taking such socio-cultural specificities into account will lead to a more nuanced understanding of forms of neoliberal city
In a context of increased urban competition, art and culture are often used by cities world-wide as tools to improve their image and make urban spaces attractive. In that process, art is—as we will argue—becoming a new urban norm, which is normalizing not only urban space and experience, but also art itself. By contributing to the pacification or securization of public spaces, art could encourage some behaviors or, on the contrary, discourage others. Reversely, this normative dimension of urban art could impact art itself, especially by redefining the limit between artistic forms that are either inclusive or exclusive, dominant or subversive. Through examples found during PhD fieldwork in Montreal and Johannesburg, we will demonstrate that this normalization of the city through art and of art through the city takes place in various urban contexts, that it questions the distinction between Northern and Southern cities, and the definition of a (global) city itself.
This article examines contemporary Americans' collective conceptions of childhood and children by focusing attention on the young's participation in public life. Children's behavior and treatment in public places were observed and recorded in fieldnotes over a two year period. These observations, related findings from previously published studies, contemporary urban legends, newspaper stories and advice columns are analyzed in light of the history of childhood in Western societies. That analysis indicates that the young's access to public places in contemporary American society is quite limited and that they are commonly treated as less than complete persons. At least in public places, there is little evidence that the distinction between childhood and adulthood is eroding in contemporary American society, as many have claimed.
I use the concept of “engaged anthropology” to frame a discussion of how “spatializing culture” uncovers systems of exclusion that are hidden or naturalized and thus rendered invisible to other methodological approaches. “Claiming Space for an Engaged Anthropology” is doubly meant: to claim more intellectual and professional space for engagement and to propose that anthropology include the dimension of space as a theoretical construct. I draw on three fieldwork examples to illustrate the value of the approach: (1) a Spanish American plaza, reclaimed from a Eurocentric past, for indigenous groups and contemporary cultural interpretation; (2) Moore Street Market, an enclosed Latino food market in Brooklyn, New York, reclaimed for a translocal set of social relations
rather than a gentrified redevelopment project; (3) gated communities in Texas and New York and cooperatives in New York, reclaiming public space and confronting race and class segregation created by neoliberal enclosure and securitization.
Although often intended to address injustices in food access, farmers markets tend to cater to affluent communities, and to exclude on the basis of race and class. One means of addressing this is federal subsidy programs, like the Senior Farmers Market Nutritional Program (SFMNP). We explore the dynamics of the SFMNP program in Memphis’ farmers market landscape in 2011. We examine the visible barriers experienced by SFMNP patrons to market access including delays in establishing the program in a largely African-American neighborhood, and the more subtle barriers such as perceptions of more affluent markets as white
spaces. We then explore some successful efforts to make these issues visible and address them, including activism on the part of seniors and public dialog in social media. Despite this, we find that ongoing resistance to acknowledging farmers markets as spaces of racial inequality continues to challenge their food justice potential.
This paper works at the intersection of three bodies of writing: theories relating to fashion, identity and the city; debate relating to urban materialities, assemblages and context; and cultural interventions advancing the study of post-socialism. Drawing on empirical research undertaken in Bratislava, Slovakia, we unpack a blurring of public and private space expressed through clothing. In contrast to elsewhere in the city, in Petržalka, a high-rise housing estate from the socialist period, widely depicted as anonymous and hostile since 1989, residents are renowned for wearing ‘comfortable’ clothes in order to ‘feel at home’ in public space. We describe the relationship between fashion, identity and comfort as an everyday ‘political’ response to state socialism and later the emergence of consumer capitalism. We argue, however, that by considering materialities, assemblages and context that studies of fashion and consumer culture can offer more complex political, economic, social, cultural and spatial analysis. To that end, we show how personal and collective consumption bound up with comfort and city life can be understood with reference to changing temporal and spatial imaginaries and experiences of claiming a material ‘right to the city’.
Cities around the world have marked differences in spatial form and structure. To some extent this can be attributed to cultural differences. However, the impact spatial form has on the interactions within and between residents of different neighbourhoods is unclear. This paper calls on empirical evidence collected in the Walled City of Ahmedabad, India, home to Hindu and Muslim residents in distinct neighbourhoods for centuries. Employing Space Syntax method, this paper reveals significant differences in how public spaces are spatially laid out by these two communities. Muslim neighbourhoods have a spatial structure typical of a naturally evolved settlement, where the most integrated spaces are clustered centrally. In contrast, Hindu neighbourhoods have an ‘inside-out’ pattern, with the most integrated spaces located at the neighbourhood edge. The cultural significance of these distinct forms is discussed alongside the relationship between the neighbourhoods and the rest of the city. These findings on spatial structure could have an important role in Ahmedabad’s urban planning . A better understanding of how public space relates to lifestyle and culture could contribute to improved community relations. It could also contribute to dealing successfully with communal conflict, economic development, social sustainability as part of Ahmedabad’s future urban planning strategies.
This paper empirically explores the management of privately owned public space. It examines 163 spaces produced through New York City’s incentive zoning programme, whereby developers provide and manage a public space in exchange for fl oor area ratio (FAR) bonuses. Developers of these bonus spaces employ a variety of management approaches, each correlating with common theories of spatial control in publicly owned spaces. However, as developer priorities are often fi scally driven, most approaches severely limit political, social and democratic functions of public space and produce a constricted defi nition of the public. As such, privately owned public spaces have deleterious effects on concepts of citizenship and representation, even as they become the new models for urban space provision and management.
This paper argues that a strong focus on residential segregation limits the understanding of the role of the built environment. The city is used as more than just a place of residence; urban life is far from restricted to where we live. The potential for interplay that develops as people share public space is argued to be just as important for integration processes as the residential mix. In addition, this article examines shortcomings related to the definition of residential segregation because of limitations within the scientific analysis of urban space: the evident difficulties in delimiting relevant geographical units and delimiting relevant social groups. The study is based on empirical analysis of Sodertalje. Sodertalje topped international news when its mayor informed the US Congress that the city had managed to receive more refugees from the war in Iraq than the US and Canada combined. However, to what extent are these new immigrants given access to Swedish society through everyday practices? The results highlight how segregation in public space—including impaired accessibility to a range of resources such as places of work and contact with other people—is a very strong feature of excluded areas and is strongly disadvantageous for newcomers. These results challenge some of the beliefs in the current public debate as well as some of the principles used by Swedish authorities to ameliorate segregation.
This paper explores some of the more extreme tendencies in the management of public space to consider whether current policy directions, in this case in central Scotland, are driven by a desire to empower or control users of such spaces. The title of the paper is taken from the theoretical lenses provided by Neil Smith and Sharon Zukin in their differential views on trends in the management and control of public spaces. The paper focuses on two local case studies to examine the possibility that a ‘revanchist’ element is emerging in policies towards public spaces in Britain. The paper concludes that programmes designed to deal with urban and public space are a reaction to both real and perceived problems. However, there has been a privileging of a policy discourse which celebrates the displacement of social problems rather their resolution. It is argued that such a discourse cannot ultimately provide sustainable policies for the regulation of public spaces and threatens the inclusion of some users of public spaces who may not be considered to be legitimate patrons. While this does more to foster fearful than inclusive public spaces, a thorny question remains over whether some degree of exclusion is a necessary price for policies which seek to secure public space and maintain a wider quality of life.
International journal of urban and regional research (2012)
This article asks whether locality and the varied resources, networks and racialized histories of local actors make a difference in the experience of immigrants and their transnational practices. Such questions are typically explored in metropolitan centers and global cities, but the present work results from an ethnographic study of a previously all‐white rural Illinois town, where the meat processing industry recruited a labor force translocally among Latin Americans and West Africans. The article reports on the experience of this rapidly diversifying town where both formal politics and the liberal‐democratic channels of citizens' participation in governance remain exclusionary. Despite this, the diverse immigrant populations have achieved a certain inclusion in public institutions and public spaces. Paying attention to the dynamics developing across immigrant groups through everyday spaces of interaction within their residential community, I argue that the kinds of mediating spaces local context offers are critical to the ability of diverse immigrant groups to renegotiate the interracial social and spatial relations they encounter in a highly contested and constrained context where a global corporation is the sole local employer.
Drawing from ethnographic research in the Research Triangle of North Carolina and Williamsburg, Virginia, the authors build on Anzaldúa’s conceptualization of “borderlands” to analyze how borders of social membership are constructed and enforced in “el Nuevo South.” Our gender analysis reveals that intersecting structural conditions—the labor market, the organization of public space, and the institutional organization of health care and other public services—combine with gendered processes in the home and family to regulate women’s participation in community life. Enforcers of borders include institutional actors, mostly women, in social services and clinics who occupy institutional locations that enable them to define who is entitled to public goods and to categorize migrants as undeserving “others.” We reveal how a particularly configured matrix of domination transcends the spheres of home, work, and community to constrain women migrants’ physical and economic mobility and personal autonomy and to inhibit their participation in their societies of reception.
Christopher R. Browning, Bethany Boettner & Jonathan Dirlam
Latino immigrant presence in urban neighborhoods has been linked with reduced neighborhood cohesion in social disorganization-based ethnic heterogeneity hypotheses and enhanced cohesion in immigration revitalization approaches. Using the 2000–2002 Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey and the 1994–1995 Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods Community Survey, we explore the association between Latino immigrant concentration and both levels of, and agreement about, neighborhood collective efficacy. Findings from multilevel models with heteroskedastic variance indicate that Latino immigrant concentration exhibits a nonlinear association with collective efficacy. At low levels, increases in Latino immigrant concentration diminish collective efficacy, consistent with a heterogeneity hypothesis. The negative association between Latino immigrant concentration and collective efficacy declines in magnitude as immigrant concentration increases and, particularly in LA, becomes positive beyond a threshold, consistent with an immigration revitalization effect. We also find an inverse nonlinear pattern of association with the variance of collective efficacy. At low levels, increasing Latino immigrant concentration increases the variance of collective efficacy (reflecting more disagreement), but beyond a threshold, this association becomes negative (reflecting increasing agreement). This pattern is observed in both LA and Chicago. The prevalence of social interaction and reciprocated exchange within neighborhoods explains a modest proportion of the Latino immigrant concentration effect on mean levels of collective efficacy in Chicago, but does little to explain effects on the mean in LA or effects on the variance in either LA or Chicago. These findings offer insight into the complex role Latino immigrant presence plays in shaping neighborhood social climate.
This paper is based on a three-year participatory action research (PAR) project conducted with children living and working on the streets of six Turkish metropolitan cities. We first examine how the dominant policy fails to acknowledge street children as actors in public space and review empowering methodology for working with street children. Second, we discuss the PAR methodology and how it facilitates meaningful participation by street children. Third, we consider how the project contributed to the inclusion of street children in public space. Finally, we review the role of PAR in empowering street children.
This article uses participant observation data to explore teenagers' presence in two urban public spaces in Manchester, England. The urban spaces under investigation are public, but surrounded by retail outlets and act as gateways for consumption. The aim is to answer the question 'how do the rhythms of teenage life differ when ordinary and extraordinary activities occur in urban public spaces of consumption?' Lefebvre's Rhythmanalysis is employed to analyse the data and identify instances of eurhythmia (harmonious rhythms), arrhythmia (discordant rhythms) and polyrhythmia (multiple simultaneous rhythms) during periods of typical and extraordinary use. Ordinarily the teenagers used the spaces of consumption to mostly meet and socialise with friends with a small number of them using the space to skateboard. This occurred harmoniously alongside others who pass through these gateways to consumption indicating multiple rhythms. The findings indicate that the teenagers were displaced from urban space during the staging of official events which involved increased control from authorities such as the local council and police. They were replaced by a different crowd of people consisting of mostly families and adults. Paradoxically, the 'festival' atmosphere created by extraordinary events in the gateways of consumption resulted more interaction among those present despite increased control from the authorities. Rhythmanalysis proved useful in understanding of spaces when researching spaces of consumption, as it exposes the temporal and fluid nature of urban space. Ultimately, there was no room for the presence of regular users (teenagers) during the staging of extraordinary events indicating a lack of multiple rhythms.
Applying a gender perspective to cities reveals how spatial structure and social structure are mutually constitutive. This article reviews the ways cities have reflected and reinforced gender relations in the United States from the turn of the twentieth century to the present. First, I discuss ways in which women in industrial cities challenged the ideology of separate spheres. Next, I suggest that the post–World War II city was shaped by an era of high patriarchy similar to the architectural high modernism of the same era, and in the third section, I explore how that urban structure limited women's opportunities outside the home. In the fourth part, I examine changes in the concept of gender as it expanded beyond masculine and feminine categories to include lesbians, gays, and transgender individuals. The article ends with a review of how women's and gay rights movements, gentrification, and planning practices have shaped a more gender-neutral contemporary metropolis.
An actor-centered approach to the gendering of urban spaces demonstrates how individuals respond to competing ideologies in determining the rules that surround women’s presence in urban, Muslim spaces. This article examines how women in the Ville Nouvelle of Fes, Morocco draw on local conceptualizations of hospitality, kinship, and shame as they debate the gendering of four urban areas: the street, the café, a cosmopolitan exercise club, and cyber space.
Women’s tactics for occupying social space indicate the resilience of local culture in the face of ideologies that attempt to posit a specific vision of women in the Moroccan nation state.
Geographers have effectively examined girls’ reactions and resistances to adult control in public space, but the ways that girls learn about and rein scribe social differences like race and class through ‘hanging-out’ practices in public, urban space have yet to be sufficiently explored and theorized. Therefore, in this paper I consider the normative productivity of girls’ spatial practices, as well as girls’ resistances to adultist space. I examine the case of consumption space and focus on how girls utilize, create and reproduce myriad social identifiers as they hang out in public, urban space. Consumption space and consumerism dominate the urban spaces and hanging-out practices of teenagers, and while girls complain about the ubiquity of consumption space, girls’ public social-spatial activities inevitably involve consumption space. Therefore, consumption’s symbols and spaces are central to the normative production of girls’ identities like class and race, and of social difference more generally in urban space.
This article examines the new phenomenon of “citizens’ groups” in contemporary Mumbai, India, whose activities are directed at making the city’s public spaces more orderly. Recent scholarship on Mumbai’s efforts to become a “global” city has pointed to the removal of poor populations as an instance of neoliberal governmentality as espoused by the Indian state following the “liberalization” of the economy in the early 1990s. However, in this case, it is these civil society organizations, not the state—whose functionaries in fact benefit from a certain element of unruliness on the streets—who are the agents of increased control over populations and of the rationalization of urban space. This article, based on fieldwork-based research, argues that the way in which citizens’ groups exclude poor populations from the city is more complex than a straightforward deployment of neoliberalism, and is imbricated with transnational political economic arrangements in uneven and often inconsistent ways. In particular, this article explores how civic activists in these organizations envision their role in the city, and how their activism attempts to reconfigure the nature of citizenship. For instance, civic activists consider themselves to be the stewards of the city’s streets and sidewalks, and wage their battles against what they consider unruly hawkers, a corrupt state, and a complacent middle-class public. Moreover, civic activists render street hawkers’ political claims illegitimate by speaking on behalf of the abstract “citizen” of Mumbai, thus implying that hawkers’ unions speak only on behalf of the vested interests of a single population. In this way, they mobilize a normative notion of civil society in order to exclude the vast segment of city residents who either sell or buy goods on the street. In doing so, the civic activists transform the discourse and practice of politics in the city, so that, ironically, while on one hand using the rhetoric of citizen participation, they in fact undermine the radically heterogeneous forms of democratic political participation the city offers.
Homelessness has been a perennial concern for sociologists. It is a confronting phenomenon that can challenge western notions of home, a discrete family unit and the ascetics and order of public space. To be without a home and to reside in public places illustrates both an intriguing way of living and some fundamental inadequacies in the functioning of society. Much homelessness research has had the consequence of isolating the ‘homeless person’ as distinct category or indeed type of individual.They are ascribed with homeless identities.The homeless identity is not simply presented as one dimensional and defining, but this imposed and ill-fitting identity is rarely informed by a close and long-term engagement with the individuals it is supposed to say something about. Drawing on a recent Australian ethnographic study with people literally without shelter, this article aims to contribute to understandings of people who are homeless by outlining some nuanced and diverse aspects of their identities. It argues that people can and do express agency in the way they enact elements of the self, and the experience of homelessness is simultaneously important and unimportant to understand this. Further, the article suggests that what is presumably known about the homeless identity is influenced by day-to-day lives that are on public display.
Focusing on imaginaries of the ideal city is an important method to illustrate the power of ideas, imagination, representations, and even visions, and how these dimensions influence the way in which cities are organized and lived. In this article, we argue that one current and important city imaginary in a Swedish context is the gender-equal city. In this imaginary, the gender-equal city becomes a symbol for the open, tolerant, bustling, safe city, a city aiming to attract the middle and creative classes. However, at the same time, the imaginary of the ideal, gender-equal city is highly ambiguous. The ambiguity will be discussed throughout the article. Based on present planning projects in the city of Umea in Sweden, we will discuss how the imaginary of the gender-equal city is presented, filled with meaning and used in place marketing, with the overall ambition of discussing the possibilities and pitfalls of what we call the gender-equality planning strategy. The aim of the article is to study how the city of Umeå is acting to create a gender-equal city and what kind of imaginaries these practices build on. The material consists primarily of a case study focusing on projects that aim to create an equal city, and also includes analyses of policy documents and media reports. This study illustrates how imaginaries are produced through local projects and different imaginaries provide different spaces for politicizing gendered power relations.
For Friedmann and Wolff, the citadel's physical form—physically defended enclaves in the global city—shapes relations between citadels and outsiders. Subsequent work claims that the designs of citadels produce simulated community life, exclude the city and sanitise public spaces. However, such claims have been based on relatively brief observations. This ethnography assesses the impact of design by examining the quintessential citadel of Battery Park City, in New York City, while the community mobilised against plans for a highway tunnel bordering their community during redevelopment of the neighbouring World Trade Center site. Community life is robust. However, the influence of the physical design is borne out in previously unrecognised ways: residents are identified as a crucial new constituency promoting exclusivity in the global city.
The World Trade Center site allows anthropologists and educators to reflect on the relationship of public space to culture, and to consider the symbolic importance of this site for imagining the public culture of the future. Public spaces in the city have the potential of being places of learning and democratic practice, but the trend toward increased surveillance and policing of these spaces, exaggerated by September 11, makes this potential difficult to realize. Anthropologists and educators interested in the nexus of education, place, and culture should consider becoming involved in this imagining process and insert themselves into the ongoing debate in order to preserve spaces for learning and democracy.
Australia is currently rolling out one of the most expensive and ambitious infrastructure projects in the nation’s history. The National Broadband Network is promoted as a catalyst for far-reaching changes in Australia’s economy, governmental service provision, society and culture. However, it is evident that desired dividends, such as greater social engagement, enhanced cultural awareness and increased civic and political participation, do not flow automatically from mere technical connection to the network. This article argues that public institutions play a vital role in redistributing technological capacity to enable emerging forms of social and cultural participation. In particular, we examine public libraries as significant but often overlooked sites in the evolving dynamic between digital technology, new cultural practices and social relations. Drawing on interviews and fieldwork across the public library network of the state of Queensland, we attend to the strategies and approaches libraries are adopting in response to a digital culture.
Location-aware mobile media allow users to see their locations on a map on their mobile phone screens. These applications either disclose the physical positions of known friends, or represent the locations of groups of unknown people. We call these interfaces eponymous and anonymous, respectively. This article presents our classification of eponymous and anonymous location-aware interfaces by investigating how these applications may require us to rethink our understanding of urban sociability, particularly how we coordinate and communicate in public spaces. We argue that common assumptions made about location-aware mobile media, namely their ability to increase one’s spatial awareness and to encourage one to meet more people in public spaces, might be fallacious due to pre-existing practices of sociability in the city. We explore these issues in the light of three bodies of theory: Goffman’s presentation of self in everyday life, Simmel’s ideas on sociability, and Lehtonen and Mäenpää’s concept of street sociability.
A lack of collective efficacy in neighborhood is associated with social and physical disorder and related anti-social actions. It is less clear, however, whether collective efficacy in neighborhood also enhances prosocial, other-regarding behavior. We studied this association by employing the Lost Letter Technique in a large-scale field experiment. Our data stem from 1,240 letters dropped in a representative sample of 110 Dutch neighborhoods, combined with neighborhood data based on a survey of residents (SSND2, n=996) and information provided by Statistics Netherlands. We distinguish between two conditions (1) location of the lost letter, that is, behind a car's windshield wiper on the sidewalk; and (2) type of addressee, that is, a Dutch name or a Turkish/Moroccan name. When we decompose collective efficacy into social cohesion and shared expectations of social control, we find that shared control expectations clearly matter for the rate of posted letters. Social cohesion has no effect. Furthermore, a high percentage of non-Western residents, high residential mobility, and a relatively low local income level are negatively related to the rate of posted letters.
The scholarly focus on the production of space necessitates a thorough reassessment of the static categories employed in the analysis of spatial processes. Emphasizing space as a process, this essay calls attention to the recent implication of Madrid’s Retiro Park in larger processes of capital accumulation. At the same time, it highlights the insufficiency of the tempting yet problematic distinction between public and private space that obtains in easy solutions to the struggles over city-space. As many critics have pointed out, there is design flaw in the idea of public space—it can never explain how a given space, such as a park, comes to be free of the ‘private’ (personal and structural) interests operating throughout its societal context. The story of the Retiro ultimately foregrounds the pivotal role of city-space in the drive for capitalist intercity-competition and suggests that the latter process is insufficiently confronted by idealized notions of the role truly ‘public’ spaces might play in radical democracy and citizenship.
A number of recent studies have examined the sources of conflict surrounding the presence of Muslim minorities in Western contexts. This article builds upon, and challenges, some of the principal findings of this literature through analyzing popular opposition to mosques in Badalona, a historically industrial city in Catalonia where several of the most vigorous anti-mosque campaigns in Spain have occurred. Drawing upon 46 semi-structured interviews and ethnographic observation conducted over a two-year period, I argue that opposition to mosques in Badalona is not reducible to anti-Muslim prejudice or fears of Islamic extremism. Rather, it is rooted in powerful associations drawn between Islam, immigration, and a series of social problems affecting the character of communal life and the quality of cherished public spaces in the city. These associations are expressed through local narratives that emphasize a sharp rupture between a glorified ethnically homogeneous past of community and solidarity, and a troublesome multicultural present fraught with social insecurity and disintegration. I show how the construction of these "rupture narratives" has entailed active memory work that minimizes the significance of prior social cleavages and conflicts, and selectively focuses on disjuncture over continuity with the past. I also highlight how these narratives have been reinforced by strong socio-spatial divisions, which have intensified contestations over public space and led to the integration of mosque disputes into broader struggles over social justice and public recognition.
In the prevailing literature on contemporary public spaces, two contested sets of arguments become apparent: one depicts the ‘end of public space’, while the other challenges with this ‘end of public space’ discourse. Following the debates, one can ask the question of whether there has been any ideally ‘public’ or ‘inclusive’ public space ever in cities, or the inclusivity (thereby ‘publicness’) of public spaces can or may change in time based on a variety of factors. This research, addressing these questions, contributes to this ongoing discussion, first by providing a model of inclusivity for the qualitative assessment of public spaces, and second by using this model to provide an empirical analysis on the largest urban park in the historic city centre of Ankara, namely Gençlik Park (GP). After in-depth analysis of the changing inclusivity of GP from its heydays to nowadays regarding four dimensions of ‘access’, in relation with its design, manage- ment, control and use processes, as well as the contextual aspect of the inclusivity–exclusivity continuum of public–private spaces, it concludes that the ‘inclusive’ nature of public spaces might change and evolve depending on time dimension, as well as the local and global contexts within which the public space is set and bounded. Although the causes and issues regarding the inclusivity capacity of public spaces are complex – that is, ‘multiple’, ‘site-specific’ and ‘interrelated’, the continuous presence of democratic and egalitarian procedural accessibility, which embraces all segments of the public, which gives them the opportunity to raise their voices and opinions about the public spaces, and which deliberation is used as the mechanism to endure a consensual rather than authoritarian style of interaction is a requirement for generating and maintaining inclusive public spaces.
Sarah Neal, Katy Bennett, Allan Cochrane, Hannah Jones & Giles Mohan
Situating itself in encounter and public space debates and borrowing from non‐representational theory approaches, this paper uses data from the authors' 2‐year Economic and Social Research Council research project to consider how local urban parks can work as sites of routine encounter, mixity, and place belonging. The paper explores how parks as green public spaces are important as sites of inclusive openness while the materiality of parks is a key dynamic in affective encounter processes. Parks can work as animators of social interactions, participatory practices, and place affinities across ethnic and cultural difference. The paper concludes that the concept of convivial encounter can be extended to incorporate the concept of elective practices – choosing to be in shared public space can generate connective sensibilities that are not necessarily contingent on exchange. In using parks as a lens to examine localities and diversity, the paper critically reflects on research practices for understanding and describing heterogeneous formations of multiculture and outlines how the project's research design and the fieldwork methods sought to carefully and appropriately undertake research with complexly different places and populations.
This paper investigates migrant domestic workers as a marginalised group in Singapore's urban landscape by examining the ways in which their social maps are structured and negotiated in relation to public space. It argues that the phenomenon of the 'divided city' evident in capitalist societies which reflects and reinforces the sexual division of labour in general is even more salient in the lived experiences of migrant female domestic workers who must contend not simply with the spatial expressions of patriarchy, but also with racialisation and other means of segregation. However, it is clear that these women are not entirely passive recipients of dominant practices and ideas, but are capable of different styles and strategies in the use, colonisation and even contestation of public domains.
This article examines the role of animals in the processes of social inclusion and exclusion in a gentrifying neighborhood. Residents who move into mixed-income, inner-city neighborhoods generally express a taste for diversity while simultaneously attempting to distance themselves from “undesirables.” Dogs allow newcomers to manage these tensions. The urge to control public spaces leads to the creation of new and quasi-exclusionary places, such as dog runs. At the same time, in the process of creating them, residents produce the neighborhood's image as a “diverse community.” Based on fieldwork conducted in a neighborhood of a large city in the northeastern United States, the author uses a wide range of discourse settings and genres to demonstrate that discursive production is part-and-parcel of the process of making places.
Using a narrative methodology involving 216 older people in six urban aging environments in the Netherlands, we examined how they use and experience (semi-)public spaces as spaces of encounter, and the meanings they derive from using and experiencing these spaces. The research shows that, first, older people prefer commercial spaces like shopping malls to planned and designed activity spaces in care homes or neighborhood centers. Second, older people struggle with the transformations that have taken place in urban social life since they were young adults. Third, especially frail older people derive meaning from a more passive experience of urban social life, in an observer role. The findings allow us to contribute to ongoing debates on the shifting boundaries between public and private space, and the moral implications of these shifting boundaries from the perspective of a diverse group of older users.
The ‘problem’ of skating has been conflated with a ‘problem’ with young people in public spaces, reflecting a rise in fear of crime from the mid-twentieth century and referencing more general questions about public space and citizenship. My task in this paper is to highlight some of the tensions between skating and urban governance in Franklin Square, Hobart, the capital city of Tasmania in Australia. This task is indebted to ideas about governance and citizenship advanced by Nikolas Rose; about the proper city as conceived by Michel de Certeau; and about fortress strategies and species of spaces promulgated by Stephen Flusty. Franklin Square functions in two ways in this work. First, its examination encourages consideration of local cases. Second, it can be deployed as a heuristic device through which to explore the edges of public space and citizenship. The essay is intended to make two contributions to social and cultural geography, one enlarging on some well-rehearsed debates about situated and contested socio-spatial relations in what I hope are innovative ways, the other unsettling particular strategies that place skaters ‘on the edge’ and yet draw them into particular domains of citizenship via specific practices of urban governance.
This paper aims to produce new insights into the complex relationship between the spatial and social dimensions of ethnic segregation in the public space of the walled city of Nicosia. The ethnic demographic of Cyprus is subject to a changing population dynamic by net in-migration, from both the EU and Third World countries, which is mainly found in the city centres. The mechanisms involved in the ways Cypriots and ethnic minorities use the public space of the city centre and the interface (or lack of it) between them lies at the heart of this paper. Building on existing research, the study focuses on a ring of public spaces which, despite their small size and the absence of any clearly defined boundaries, form a physically continuous spatial entity that is distinctly divided among different users. An attempt to account for the observed phenomenon is facilitated by the discussion of a number of relevant topics such as: the city centre as an edge condition; the entrance of users into the space through injection versus infiltration; the relationship between history and spatial adjacency; and the emergence of social phenomena from the attempts of individuals to 'make-do'.
Urban public space is a product of contestations by various actors. This paper focuses on the conflict between local level government and beggars to address the questions: How and why do government actors refuse or allow beggars access to public space? How and why do beggars appropriate public space to receive alms and adapt their strategies? How does this contestation contribute to the trends of urban public space in today's China? Taking the Southern metropolis of Guangzhou as a case study, I argue that beggars contest expulsion from public space through begging performances. Rising barriers of public space require higher investment in these performances, taking even more resources from the panhandling poor. The trends of public order are not unidirectional, however. Beggars navigate between several contextual borders composed by China's religious renaissance; the discourse on deserving, undeserving, and dangerous beggars; and the moral legitimacy of the government versus the imagination of a successful, "modern," and "civilised" city. This conflict shows the everyday production of "spaces of representation" by government actors on the micro level where economic incentives merge with aspirations for political prestige.
This paper investigates the growing inequality of public spaces in contemporary cities. In the era of neoliberal urbanism, stratified economic and cultural resources produce a spectrum of unevenly developed public parks, ranging from elite, privatized public spaces in wealthy districts to neglected parks in poor neighborhoods. Contemporary economic and cultural practices in public space are equally segmented, as privileged public spaces such as New York’s High Line reflect the consumption habitus of the new urban middle class, while violence, disinvestment, and revanchist policing permeate public spaces on the urban periphery. Using New York’s High Line as an archetypal neoliberal space, I trace its redevelopment from a decaying railroad viaduct to a celebrated public park. I argue that contemporary parks and public spaces are best analyzed on a continuum of privilege.
This study attempts to understand the public evaluation towards elements that exist within the temporal dynamics of the cities. In particular the study explores the extent to which street vendors in Jakarta are evaluated as ‘out of place’ elements at day time and night time. The findings suggest that the users’ evaluation of street vendors as ‘out of place’ change from day time to night time. The change of users’ evaluation also varies across different urban places. In particular the study suggests that the presence of street vendors seems to be less unacceptable (out of place) at night time. Such knowledge regarding the dynamic of ‘out of place’ evaluation becomes important in making the decision about temporary urban elements in the city.
A growing literature examines the extent to which the criminal justice system perpetuates poverty and inequality. This research examines how anti-homeless laws produce various forms of police interactions that fall short of arrest, yet have wide-ranging impacts on the urban poor. Our analysis draws on a citywide survey of currently and recently homeless people, along with 43 in-depth interviews, to examine and reveal the mechanisms through which consistent punitive interactions, including move-along orders, citations, and destruction of property, systematically limit homeless people’s access to services, housing, and jobs, while damaging their health, safety, and well-being. Our findings also suggest that anti-homeless laws and enforcement fail to reduce urban disorder, but create instead a spatial churn in which homeless people circulate between neighborhoods and police jurisdictions rather than leaving public space. We argue that these laws and their enforcement, which affected the majority of study participants, constitute a larger process of pervasive penality—consistent punitive interactions with state officials that rarely result in arrest, but that do material and psychological harm. This process not only reproduces homelessness, but also deepens racial, gender, and health inequalities among the urban poor.
The paper begins by reviewing the discourses of sustainable development and children's rights, before mapping-out their significance to play and playgrounds. The paper then draws on fieldwork conducted in two case study communities in Wales to investigate the spatial and social places of play. The paper concludes by questioning the sustainability of playgrounds and by urging reconsideration of the role of playgrounds in the built environment.
What features of the physical environment may support women to breastfeed in the public space? Based on in-depth interviews with eight women who were breastfeeding during the research period, this article explores this question. Three factors were examined as contributing to the comfort of nursing women in public space: peer support, a sense of protection, and cultural signifiers. Using five scales of physical attributes, tested through a visual research tool, a range of public spaces were examined to give insight into the features that contribute to women’s ability and willingness to nurse in them. The results show that a sense of place attachment does not affect women’s willingness to breastfeed; that physical comfort is desired, but can be waived aside; that physical shelter is important; that peers (in the form of other parents) or their expected presence, form a strong source of support; and that perceived formality, or work-related context, is the strongest deterrent reported to breastfeeding. I conclude that using private sphere attributes in public spaces could make them more accessible to the practice of breastfeeding.
Recent scholarship contends that the rise of shopping malls, gated communities, and gentrification as well as citizens' withdrawal to the private realm have eroded public life in U.S. and Latin American cities. Malls' suburban location and security policies exclude the poor and restrict free speech; residents and fences in gated communities exclude outsiders; and police and businesses in downtowns and high-rent districts limit poor people's access to public areas. I expand this discussion with an analysis of the accessibility of Santiago, Chile's retail areas, the social relationships present there, and marginalized groups' informal resistance to their exclusion. The city's distinct segregation pattern, transit system, and state-licensed street markets permit greater contact between rich and poor and foster vital public spaces. I adapt Lofland's typology of fleeting, quasi-primary, and intimate secondary relations in public to examine social interactions in street markets, flea markets, and shopping malls. The distinct mix of relationships within these markets reflects the characteristics of users, varying degrees of accessibility to diverse populations, and state policies toward markets. Marginalized groups' informal resistance is pervasive in each setting. In contrast to the dominant view that public space is declining in contemporary cities, Santiago residents are not universally reclusive, antisocial, or reluctant to engage in cross-class public encounters, and the city retains vital public areas. The findings demonstrate that our understanding of public space is incomplete without an awareness of social relationships and informal resistance alongside structural constraints to the accessibility of urban locales.
Based primarily on an observational study, this paper addresses privately owned and managed public space at the Tjuvholmen waterfront development in Oslo. To date, no other research has been published internationally on external private-public space in a Nordic context. The four factors or processes dealt with are planning and development, design, management and, in particular, use. The main finding is that Tjuvholmen’s public spaces are characterized by ‘tightness’ and reduced publicness. As such, they share key characteristics with private-public spaces described in the literature from the US and the UK, while in some other respects they also deviate from these.
In the past five years the numbers of enclosed neighbourhoods have significantly increased in South Africa. These are existing neighbourhoods that are closed off through gates and booms across the roads. Many of these neighbourhoods are fenced or walled off as well, with a limited number of controlled entrances/exits, manned by security guards in some cases. The roads within these neighbourhoods were previously, or still are public property and in most cases the local council is still responsible for public services to the community within the enclosed neighbourhoods. In this way public urban space is privatised, whether formally or informally. I will explore the distribution of enclosed neighbourhoods in South Africa on a national scale and within two metropolitan municipalities, viz., the cities of Johannesburg and Tshwane. Then I proceed to highlight the nature and impact of these neighbourhoods on the privatisation of public space and draw on a wide basis of empirical data obtained through a national survey and in-depth case studies. Finally I will conclude with examples of lessons learnt from South Africa and how these may relate to international experience and future research on gated communities.
Orum, A. M., Bata, S., Shumei, L., Jiewei, T., Yang, S., & Trung, N. T.
Public space is a topic of great interest for urban scholars and urban planners. Such space, like parks, sidewalks, and plazas, it is argued, can provide the common grounds where the inhabitants of a city meet, exchange ideas, even engage in a variety of cultural performances. This article reports on fieldwork about the use of public space in Shanghai today. We find a great diversity of uses, ranging from vendors who sell their wares to people who engage in heated and extensive political discussions to performers of Beijing opera and ballroom dancing. We also find that the local authorities use a light, and sometimes covert, hand in their oversight of inhabitants in such spaces. Finally, we discover that powerful social differences and inequalities between native inhabitants and working-class migrants, which have emerged during the period of economic reform and market transition, are now actively in evidence in the quality and use of public space in Shanghai. The article puts these findings within a broader theoretical context, concluding in the end that for many—though not all—inhabitants public man is alive and well in Shanghai.
During the last two decades the literature on public space has registered the emergence of alternative forms of pubic space provision that depart from the traditional model of direct state ownership and management. The picture that emerges is a complex one, not so much one of privatization, but instead one of complex redistribution of roles, rights and responsibilities in public space governance to a range of social actors beyond the state. This paper discusses an approach to understanding the forms of publicness implicit in alternative forms of public space governance. Issues of rights, access, accountability and control could be examined in public space governance arrangements based on contracts, legal agreements and performance management mechanisms involving private and voluntary entities instead of the traditional public sector processes of policy delivery and accountability. The paper proposes a framework for investigating how ‘publicness’ is constructed and maintained through these arrangements.
Urban designers and their design process remain largely outside the literature on public space. Either designers are cast as simple tools of capitalist social relations, producing exclusionary public spaces, or they figure as entrepreneurs that complement economic renewal schemes through beautification measures that bring business and jobs to the city. This paper analyzes both of these arguments, through an ethnographic analysis of the urban design process behind the redevelopment of a public square in Syracuse, NY. I argue that aesthetic considerations most often derive from economic and political pressures, pressures that draw upon the social contexts of urban designers within an international division of labor and their relationship to class struggle. Because public space serves such an important role in political and social life, its status as a product of urban design should therefore act as a crucial component in any discussion of rights to the city.
This paper explores the complex relationship between transgendered people and cities in the USA, and, in particular, their relationship with queer spaces within those cities. Some have argued that queer spaces occur at the margins of society and constitute a safe haven for LGBT oppressed by the hetero-normative nature of urban areas. Data from a survey of 149 transgendered individuals indicate that although queer spaces provide a measure of protection for gender variant people, the gendered nature of these spaces results in continued high levels of harassment and violence for this population. The author argues that the strongly gendered dimensions of these spaces suggests that a discursive revisioning of gender is needed to create more transgender friendly urban spaces.
Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review (2005)
Akkar, Z. M.
The proliferation of alluring, distinctive and exclusive public spaces in many postindustrial cities raises the question of how far these environments are truly "public." Focusing on this question, this article explores the changing "publicness" of a recently redeveloped space in the city center of Newcastle upon Tyne, Britain, in relation to the dimensions of access, actor and interest. It further seeks to underline two emerging trends: the blurring of distinction between public and private spaces in the public realms of postindustrial cities; and the threat posed by image-led regeneration strategies to the everyday needs of and the civic functioning of genuine public spaces.
An attempt is made to record conditions under which various forms of racial integration occur in a changing community and the relationship between those conditions and the means by which members of the two races attempt to cope with the challenges of sharing biracial social environments. Racial headcounts are reported for various kinds of social settings and impressions are provided of the nature and differential consequences on blacks and whites of biracial interaction in such environments. Racial integration is found to be very limited in frequency and intensity, despite biracial propinquity. It is especially limited in those circumstances where interpersonal behavior is ordinarily informal, spontaneous or intense. Transracial solidarity occurs only in circumstances in which cross-racial cues of similarity, reliability and trust are strong relative to other opportunities for social solidarity.
Throughout the centuries Beirut has had an endless capacity for reinvention and transformation, a consequence of migration, conquest, trade, and internal conflict. The last three decades have witnessed the city center's violent self-destruction, its commercial resurrection, and most recently its national contestation, as oppositional political forces have sought to mobilize mass demonstrations and occupy strategic space. While research has been directed to the transformative processes and the principal actors involved, little attention has been given to how the next generation of Lebanese are negotiating Beirut's rehabilitation. This article seeks to address this lacuna, by exploring how postwar youth remember, imagine, and spatially encounter their city. How does Beirut's rebuilt urban landscape, with its remnants of war, sites of displacement, and transformed environs, affect and inform identity, social interaction, and perceptions of the past? Drawing on Henri Lefebvre's analysis of the social construction of space (perceived, conceived, and lived) and probing the inherent tensions within postwar youths’ encounters with history, memory, and heritage, the article presents a dynamic and complex urban imaginary of Beirut. An examination of key urban sites (Solidère's Down Town) and significant temporal moments (Independence Intifada) reveals three recurring tensions evident in Lebanese youth's engagement with their city: dislocation and liberation, spectacle and participant, pluralism and fracture. This article seeks to encourage wider discussion on the nature of postwar recovery and the construction of rehabilitated public space, amidst the backdrop of global consumerism and heritage campaigns.
International journal of urban and regional research (2014)
Galvis, J. P.
Bogota’s public space policy is often credited with promoting inclusionary principles. In this article, I explore critically the content of Bogota’s articulation of equality in public space policy. In so doing, I present a critical view of the work Bogota’s insistence on equality does to mediate class relations in the city, relying on deeply held conceptions of both social extremes. This results in the construction of a version of social harmony in public space that at once depoliticizes the claims to public space of subjects such as street vendors and the homeless and claims a new role for the middle class in the city. The analysis focuses on two examples of community governance schemes, documenting the logics and methods used by communities to implement official visions of equality and
justify the exclusion of street vendors and homeless people from the area. By looking at the articulation of these exclusions in local class politics through seemingly inclusionary rhetoric, the article accounts for ‘post-revanchist’ turns in contemporary urban policy, while anchoring its production in local processes of community governance.
International journal of urban and regional research (2009)
Recent work on entrepreneurial urban governance has focused on the new forms of exclusion produced by neoliberal entrepreneurial urban strategies, arguing that local forms of social–spatial organization are being dismantled through practices ranging from the privatization of urban public space to the emergence of gated communities. By exploring the role of agency amid these changing structures of constraints, this article interrogates processes of socio-spatial exclusion under entrepreneurial forms of urban governance. I argue that despite constraints placed upon different groups of affected citizens, excluded groups develop survival strategies that enable them to maintain a livelihood and in some cases empower them to thrive. I use the case of a recently implemented entrepreneurial policy in Mexico City called the Programa de Rescate (The Rescue Program). The prime objective of the policy is to revitalize and beautify the streets, buildings and central plaza of the city's Historic Center. Although this policy seeks an improvement in the quality of life for the local population, it excludes particular forms of social interaction that are central to the well-being of a large sector of the population, particularly street vendors who rely on public spaces for their daily survival. I use the case of the Programa to show how street vendors have struggled to remain on the streets of Mexico City's Historic Center.
Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability (2015)
The global public spaces literature has been critical of contemporary manifestations of public space on a number of grounds. This article reports on a research project that attempted to gauge the validity of these critiques through an examination of new and regenerated public spaces in London. The article introduces the dominant critiques around public space before outlining the mixed-methods approach used to interrogate them. The key findings from this work are summarised before the nature of contempo- rary public space is re-theorised in a more avowedly positive and pragmatic manner than is often the case, one that celebrates a return of a public spaces paradigm through tentatively advancing a new narrative and set of normative principles for public space generation. The work concludes that a more balanced view of public space is required, one that recognises the multiple complex types, roles and audiences for public spaces in cities today.
Using data from a national survey of public attitudes toward homeless people, this paper evaluates the applicability of the contact hypothesis to in-group/out-group relations that fail to meet the optimal conditions specified in the contact literature. Past efforts are extended by (1) moving beyond face-to-face encounters to consider multiple types of in-group exposure to a highly stigmatized out-group, (2) examining a variety of attitudinal outcomes, and (3) incorporating community context as a possible antecedent of such outcomes. Even after taking selection and social desirability processes into account, all types of exposure are found to affect public attitudes in the predicted (favorable) direction. Moreover, the size of the local homeless population—our primary measure of context—shapes opportunities for most forms of exposure and thus influences attitudes indirectly. These findings suggest that the scope of the contact hypothesis needs to be widened rather than narrowed.
Schwanen, T., van Aalst, I., Brands, J., & Timan, T.
The authors seek to extend the literature on inequalities and exclusion in the nighttime economy through a rhythmic analysis of visitor presence in public space in nightlife districts in the city centres of the Dutch cities of Groningen, Utrecht, and Rotterdam. Substantial inequalities in visitor presence, based on race/ethnicity and gender, are demonstrated. In the cities considered, racial/ethnic inequalities vary more in spatial terms, and gender inequalities fluctuate more heavily over the course of the night. Overall, however, the findings support the argument that exclusion from the nighttime economy needs to be understood in temporal—ecological terms. Multiple drivers, or pacemakers, of rhythmic inequalities rooted in race/ethnicity and gender are identified, including opening hours and revellers' collective habits. For advocates of greater diversity among nighttime-economy participants, the analysis suggests that neither a more varied supply of nightlife premises, nor more surveillance and policing, are straightforward solutions: a strong orientation of premises toward university students and urban professionals may promote gender-based inclusion, but deters nonwhite revellers, and more police on the street may empower women to move through a nightlife district unaccompanied yet reduce the inclination to do so among racial/ethnic minorities.
This article is based on a cross-national qualitative study of homeless and street-involved youth living within Olympic host cities. Synthesizing a Lefebvrian spatial analysis with Debord's concept of 'the spectacle', the article analyses the spatial experiences of homeless young people in Vancouver (host to the 2010 Winter Olympics) and draws some comparisons to London (host to the 2012 Summer Olympics). Tracing encounters with police, gentrification and Olympic infrastructure, the article assesses the experiences of homeless youth in light of claims made by Olympic proponents that the Games will 'benefit the young'. By contrast, the authors argue positive Olympic legacies for homeless and street-involved young people living within host cities are questionable.
L. J. Krivo, C. R. Browning, C. A. Calder, M.-P. Kwan, R. D. Peterson & H. M. Washington
In this article, we extend research on neighborhood social isolation by (1) examining residents of disadvantaged and advantaged communities and (2) considering the character of neighborhoods where people conduct routine activities away from home. We contend that social isolation is experienced by residents of both highly disadvantaged and highly advantaged neighborhoods because the two groups spend time in largely nonoverlapping parts of the city. Individual and neighborhood race-ethnic dynamics exacerbate such social isolation. Data from the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey show that social isolation is experienced by residents of all areas of the city, whether highly disadvantaged or advantaged. African Americans, Latinos and residents of areas with many Latinos suffer additional penalties in the social isolation of disadvantage in where they conduct routine activities.
This paper examines the relationship between ethnic residential segregation and two components of the built environment: the geographic distribution of its elements and their spatial configuration (i.e., the spatial relations and visual access between those elements). This relationship is investigated through a case study of Arab-Jewish residential segregation in Jaffa. Statistical and structural analyses (Q-analysis) of this case show that the conjunction of elements having different meanings (symbolic, cultural, functional, etc.) with spatial and visual integration attributes provides varying conditions for the expansion of the Arab Jewish residential patterns, a process potentially affecting the geographic scale intensity of residential segregation. It was found, for example, that public land uses having relatively 'neutral' ethnic and symbolic meanings (e.g. commercial sites and parks) and spatially integrated with the surrounding urban environment tend to moderate residential segregation. Identification of the institutional character of the built environment—segregation/encounters in mixed ethnic areas—may contribute to a more socially oriented spatial policy.
Annals of the Association of American Geographers (2001)
James S. Duncan & Nancy G. Duncan
This article examines the aestheticization of the politics of exclusion in a suburban American community. The research for this study focuses on the relationships among landscapes, social identity, exclusion, and the aesthetic attitudes of residents of Bedford, New York. By being thoroughly aestheticized, class relations are mystified and reduced to questions of lifestyle, consumption patterns, taste, and visual pleasure. Landscapes become possessions that play an active role in the performance of elite social identities. As such, social distinction is achieved and maintained by preserving and enhancing the beauty of places such as Bedford. This aestheticizing of place is managed through highly restrictive zoning policies for residential land and by "protecting" hundreds of acres of undeveloped land as nature preserves. This article explores the role of romantic ideology, localism, antiurbanism, antimodemism, and a class-based aesthetic in the construction of "wild" nature in these preserves. We argue that, in places such as Bedford, the celebration of localism, environmental beauty, and preservation mask the interrelatedness of issues of aesthetics and class identity on the one hand and residential land shortages in the New York metropolitan region on the other. The seemingly innocent pleasure in the aesthetic appreciation of landscapes and the desire to protect nature can act as a subtle but highly effective mechanism of social exclusion and the reaffirmation of elite class identities.
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (2003)
In this article the ambivalence of public policy responses to diversity on the street are documented empirically through a detailed case study of the marginalization of youth from the downtown public spaces of Portland, Maine, USA. Urban planners, architects and property developers have become increasingly concerned with improving the quality of urban life and the public spaces on which it depends. They argue that urban revitalization initiatives must embrace diversity — cultural and economic, as well as functional and spatial. This diversity of different ‘diversities’ is often under‐theorized, as are the benefits of, and relationships among, social and cultural diversity, economic diversification, mixed‐use and multi‐purpose zoning, political pluralism, and democratic public space. It is my contention that this ambivalence is not simply a smokescreen for vested commercial interests, but also provides opportunities for expressing alternative visions of what diversity and the city itself should be. Looking specifically at youth, I explore a relatively underexamined aspect of inner‐city diversity. While there is a relatively well‐developed literature about the contested place of low‐income groups, racial minorities and the homeless in urban redevelopment initiatives, youth have largely been ignored.
In the US and western Europe, mixing policies are widespread. They aim to differentiate various income-groups in deprived neighbourhoods. By constructing 'expensive' housing units, the middle classes are encouraged to settle in these neighbourhoods and consequently a concentration of low-income-groups is circumscribed. Such a new population composition is assumed to lead to an improved quality of life in the neighbourhood concerned. However, insufficient attention is paid to ethnicity and interethnic dynamics; these aspects will be elaborated on in two case studies of deprived and ethnically differentiated neighbourhoods in Amsterdam. Furthermore, this paper will also explore the impact of ethnic differences and perceptions on the social contacts and interactions between various ethnic groups of residents.
Much literature on contemporary U.S. racial relations tends to view black middle-class life as substantially free of traditional discrimination. Drawing primarily on 37 in-depth interviews with black middle-class respondents in several cities, I analyze public accommodations and other public-place discrimination. I focus on three aspects: (1) the sites of discrimination, (2) the character of discriminatory actions; and (3) the range of coping responses by blacks to discrimination. Documenting substantial barriers facing middle-class black Americans today, I suggest the importance of the individual's and the group's accumulated discriminatory experiences for understanding the character and impact of modern racial discrimination.
Around the world, there is increasing concern with the ways in which different populations use public spaces and places. Focusing on the French context, this paper investigates conceptual difficulties inherent in the co‐occupation of space by different population groups. The focus is to shed light on the ordinary engagement of teenagers in a working‐class neighbourhood in terms of differentiated social practices according to gender, age, social network, the physical and social morphology of the neighbourhood, and relational and situational criteria. Their occupation of space is channelled by public policies as well as educational, family, and socio‐educational care that structure their time and space. However, this paper highlights also the subjective dimension. Manipulating the ‘regime of familiarity’ and the ‘regime of regular planning’, teenagers learn through experimentation to use the ‘regime of justification’, thus challenging adult spatiality in terms of their moral and political involvement. The deliberate and involuntary characteristics of their occupation of space transgresses the accepted uses of public space and disturbs adults. Their actions produce discomfort, which adult residents express through distancing practices. Teenagers recall various situations of general dissatisfaction that they are unable to synthesise in a complaint with reference to a general problem, and they express this feeling through stronger transgressions. Low‐level conflict between adults and teenagers is thus self‐perpetuated. Furthermore, teenagers' occupation of space is differentiated between girls and boys, between the ‘cool’ teenagers and the ‘geeks’, the teenagers from the neighbourhood and those from the outside, those who ‘have origins’ and those who do not. This generates unpleasant reciprocal disturbance and an everyday conflict that is further perpetuated by the failure to frame this disturbance as a public problem.
New York City has actively engaged the private sector in providing publicly accessible spaces through the use of density bonuses and other mechanisms since 1961. In this article, we examine how the changing regulatory environment, promulgated by zoning reforms of the mid-1970s that advocated for increased amenity creation, has impacted the use, design and management of privately owned public space (POPS). We examine 123 POPS – 47 constructed before the mid-1970s reforms, 76 built after the reforms – using an index to measure levels of control or openness in publicly accessible space. We find that compared with prereform spaces, post-reform spaces encourage use through the introduction of design features and signage, but discourage use by decreasing accessibility of the space and increasing the amount of subjective rules and regulations. We also find that the reforms had no significant impact on use or sociability. Our findings can help guide planners and policymakers in New York City and elsewhere to understand how they can not only encourage better privately owned spaces, but perhaps even mandate them.
This study explores the potentiality of markets as public space where multiple forms of sociality are enacted. Research was conducted in eight UK markets. The research revealed that markets represented a significant public and social space for different groups in the locality as a site for vibrant social encounters, for social inclusion and the care of others, for 'rubbing along' and for mediating differences. The article concludes by arguing that the social encounters and connections found in markets contradict pessimistic accounts of the decline of social association, offering a contrast to the shopping mall and providing the possibility for the inclusion of marginalised groups and for the co-mingling of differences where these are increasingly relegated to more private spheres.
The literature on cities in the developing world equates segregation with the proliferations of enclaves and slums and tends to overlook how the people associated with those places are further segregated in public spaces and enclaves. To account for the symbolic partitioning of Metro Manila, I document the segregating practices of the residents of enclaves (villagers) and slums (squatters). These practices reveal a well-developed sense of place on both sides, a commitment to the relative status positioning of the two groups as expressed through their separation in space. A sense of place explains why squatters and villagers engage in segregating practices. It also enables us to identify other spatial practices that conform to or challenge its logic. Integrating practices are largely consistent with a sense of place, while desegregating practices challenge it and may set up or advance contentious situations. By using this approach we are better able to understand how class patterns of residential segregation are extended to encompass virtually all urban spaces where class interaction occurs.
This article argues critically that the consequences of a binary system of gender norms is experienced as a kind of gender tyranny both for those who transgress gender in their daily lives, but also for those whose lives are lived within such constraints. Feminist geographers and urban theorists have argued that space is gendered and that gendering has profound consequences for women. This article extends this analysis and shows how rigid categorizations of gender fail to include the intersexed and transgendered populations, a small and highly marginalized segment of the wider population. This article uses autoethnographic methods to illustrate the ways that those who transgress gender norms experience a tyranny of gender that shapes nearly every aspect of their public and private lives. The nature of these consequences is explored using citations from the transgender and queer literature as well as the lived experience of this tyranny by the author in a continuum of public to private spaces, including: parking lots, public restrooms, shopping malls, the workplace and the home.
In this study we examine the spatial practices and lived experiences of an understudied subgroup, observant Muslim women of Arab descent, to explore the extent to which they experience representation and inclusion in the context of Brooklyn, New York. In an attempt to provide a more in-depth understanding of space, we utilize a phenomenological approach in which gender is central. We conceptualize our analysis based on Lefebvre’s spatial triad. The narratives of the women in this study elucidate how they interpret and navigate publicly accessible urban spaces as women marked by both ethnicity and religious difference in a multicultural city such as New York. Our study finds that the physical accessibility of public spaces, the aspect that planners tend to emphasize, matters for the observant Muslim women in this study both in ways with which planners are familiar and in other ways. The main aspects of physical accessibility that facilitated
their sense of inclusion and engagement in Bay Ridge public spaces are the ease of getting around, often called ‘walkability’ in planning circles, the extent of access to mass transit, and the types of destinations in the area. Streetlights and the openness of public spaces were also critical to participants’ lived experiences, as was the presence of a number of women wearing the Islamic headscarf. The latter enabled participants to become active actors in space because they marked a place as culturally, religiously, and socially appropriate for them. Participants’ lived experiences (representational space) in turn shaped and were shaped by the characteristics of physical space. For example, well-lit open spaces enabled their spatial engagement because this made them visible to the community and at the same time allowed them to see the community. For immigrant women the Arabic landscape of the neighborhood marked by the Arabic signage, the Arabic language being spoken, and women wearing the Islamic headscarf provided them an opportunity to communicate with other women who share their cultural and religious values (spatial practice), and thereby to experience a safe space of normalcy (representational space).
Against a backdrop of widespread panic about children's safety and the unruliness of teenagers, efforts to remove young people from public space are becoming increasingly pervasive. Public space is being constructed as adult space through legal mechanisms such as curfews, which seek to curtail young people's spatial freedoms and contain them within their homes. Ostensibly motivated by a desire to reduce youth crime and victimisation, curfews reflect a contemporary preoccupation with achieving social control through the control of space. This is certainly the case in the US – the Western nation where juvenile curfews are most prevalent, despite rhetoric about the `fundamental' nature of individual freedoms. In this paper, critical discussion of the American situation provides a backdrop for considering curfews recently imposed in Paeroa and Te Kuiti, two New Zealand towns. It is contended that these curfews were as much about enforcing a particular notion of `parental responsibility' as controlling young people themselves. We conclude that a discourse of rights provides a particularly strong foundation for arguing against curfews.
The paper examines four case studies of neighborhood parks in socially and ethnically diverse communities of Los Angeles in order to explore similarities and differences of their uses and assigned meanings. More specifically, the study utilizes structured field observations and surveys of users in order to examine sociocultural patterns of park use, the relevance of past models of park design, and the level of fit between current park form and contemporary user needs.
This article examines the relationship between immigration and urban renewal in Naples during the 1990s through the conflicting representations and uses of Piazza Garibaldi, a large piazza located in front of the city’s central railway station. As well as the hub of the city’s public transport network, since the mid-1980s this piazza has been the multifunctional space for a number of immigrant groups. Re-envisioned as the ‘gateway’ to the city’s regenerated centro storico (historic centre) during the 1990s, the piazza became a focus of public debates on security, tourism and, in particular, immigration. I examine how these issues intersected with political discourses about a renewed sense of citizenship in redefining the piazza as a strategic but problematic public space. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and analysis of local newspaper reports, the article looks at the ways in which the piazza has been appropriated by different immigrant groups for social and economic purposes, and how, at the same time, they have been excluded from discourses about a ‘new’ Naples.
Anna Ortiz, Maria Dolors Garcia-Ramon & Maria Prats
This article deals with women's use of public space and sense of place in El Raval, a neighbourhood located in the historical center of Barcelona. Attention will be paid to discover to what degree the existence of a quality public space fosters the creation of socially meaningful places, thus contributing to the construction of women's sense of place and urban identities. A qualitative approach, based on direct observation and in-depth interviews with women living in the neighbourhood, has allowed us to capture the main aspects of the building of a sense of place and belonging, that is the use of public space and facilities, the attitude towards living in the neighbourhood, etc.