Research related to the key concept ‘historic preservation’ refers to the preservation of built, physical and material environments considered part of a place’s historic heritage. This may include research on the impact of preservation, conservation, or adaptive reuse of buildings and environments on public spaces or vice versa.
This paper analyses the importance of commercial signs in contemporary cities, and explores the theoretical concepts that might be helpful in understanding the operation of commercial signage controls in historic places. The focus is on issues that cluster around theories of consumer culture, as well as on the practices of city centre management, city marketing and urban tourism. The discussion is predominantly concerned with commercial city centres because these are places where different functions and meanings coexist. They are often places where different commercial and non-commercial interests have to be managed or reconciled. City centres are also public areas where human experience is given meaning and valorised through signs, symbols and patterns of behaviour, which result from a combination of physical and symbolic factors of the built environment. In many cases, the commercial city centre
coincides with the historic core of a city, and the challenge of the local authority is to combine all functions with the preservation of historic buildings and places. At the end, this paper discusses how forms of aesthetic control over commercial signage can be applied to preserve local identity and stimulate commercial and touristic activities simultaneously.
As augmented reality (AR) is becoming technologically possible and publicly available through mobile smartphone and tablet devices, there has been relatively little empirical research studying how people are utilizing mobile AR technologies and forming social practices around mobile AR. This study looks at how mobile AR can potentially mediate the everyday practices of urban life. Through qualitative interviews with users of Layar, a mobile AR browser, we found several emerging uses. First, users are creating content on Layar in ways that communicate about and through place, which shapes their relationship and interpretations of places around them. Second, we found a growing segment of users creating augmented content that historicizes and challenges the meanings of place, while inserting their own narratives of place. Studying emerging uses of AR deepens our understanding of how emerging media may complicate practices, experiences, and relationships in the spatial landscape.
This paper explores the place-based meanings of an urban public space, MacArthur Park, in a Latino and immigrant neighborhood in Los Angeles, California. Both quantitative and qualitative data analysis revealed a broad range of park experiences that were both positive and negative and produced meanings that were individual, social, cultural, and political. The study found that MacArthur Park affirms traditional national, cultural, and ethnic identities for immigrants and supports their construction of a new, translocal and Central American identity in Los Angeles. Although the study found that the park also serves as a restorative, entertaining, and social space for park goers, these positive experiences were accompanied by negative experiences and meanings of the park related to maintenance and crime and conflicts associated with inequality and access, confirming the importance of considering the full range of social, cultural, and political meanings associated with place.
Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society (2014)
In the wake of the global recession, publicly funded urban development projects have reshaped Romania’s cities while transforming local governance practices. This study examines an emergent form of urban governance that is driven by the pursuit of EU and government funding and centres on large-scale spatial restructuring. During a time of severe economic decline, this form of local governance has brought about uneven development through a dramatic increase in redundant public works and urban beautification projects that serve neither the public need nor the EU’s development agenda. Seized by political patronage networks through selective and discretionary allocations of EU and public funds, public works projects have become vehicles for the extraction of public funds.
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (2007)
Severcan, Y. C. & Barlas, A.
The disappearance of public spaces from the urban realm is a sign of the de-individuation and asocialization of the modern individual. However, cities still
provide important tools for reclaiming our lost public life. The aim of this essay is to approach industrial heritage, usually considered a conservation issue, from a different perspective, as a tool for individuation and socialization. In order to do this, we start by describing the effects of capitalism and globalization on public open spaces, and then link this to governments’ privatization policies for industrial heritage. We show how industrial landscapes could function as public spaces. Finally, we explain how, in the absence of other public open spaces, industrial landscapes could be used for public purposes to meet the social needs of humans, and could thus be instrumental in the proliferation of our rituals.
This article illustrates how spatial/cultural representations come into being with data collected during a 7-month ethnographic study of two plazas, the Parque Central and the Plaza de la Culture in San José, the capital city of Costa Rica. The comparison of their history, physical and spatial symbolism, user activities and daily behaviors, and news reports and commentaries demonstrates how these cultural representations reflect meanings that change in response to the material conditions and social values of the historical period. Further, the analysis uncovers that moral contradictions in those meanings are expressed first in the traditional plaza setting, and then, are transformed into contradictions across both plazas.