Overcoming division in Nicosia's public space

Charalambous, N. & Hadjichristos, C.

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Charalambous, N., & Hadjichristos, C. (2011). Overcoming division in Nicosia's public space. Built Environment, 37(2), 170–182.

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'.

Main finding
This study shows the complexity and difficulty of comprehensively mapping urban segregation. Lines of segregation are different depending on the location of public space. These lines can be distinct and remain rigid over time and others can blurred and ever changing.

Description of method used in the article
The researcher uses space syntax and a set of theories that use comparative analysis to examine the way space and form are arranged in cities, settlements, and buildings.

Of some practical use if combined with other research

Organising categories

3D / Digital / Datasets Spatial Methods
Physical types
Squares Streets
Geographic locations