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Journal of Urban Design (2010)
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.
Social & Cultural Geography (2002)
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.
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 (2014)
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.
Journal of the American Institute of Planners (1978)
Problems encountered in public open space provision in the urban context are investigated through a case study of the Chicago metropolitan region. Correlation and regression analyses are utilized in an attempt to explain local public open space acreage levels in terms of readily available data. Park district directors, chief municipal executives, forest preserve and conservation district directors are surveyed and interviewed in order to gain more qualitative insights. Governmental regulations in general and funding allocation practices for the region are examined for any effect on provision levels. Basic impediments to public open land provision are identified, and several solution strategies are suggested.
Population, Space and Place (2016)
This article focuses on the dynamics between migrant street vendors and public security forces and the complex social production of urban public space in Guangzhou. As an answer to daily contestation of public order, security agencies reluctantly open flexible windows of business opportunities to hawkers. Zones and periods of control, ‘soft’ approaches, and categories of ethnic belonging influence everyday governance and accessibility of public space. This results in a transient public space, fluid and continuously changing, which offers a new perspective on openness and functioning of public space in urban China.
Journal of Urban Design (2010)
Introduction to special issue. No abstract available.
Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy (2016)
In the networked information and knowledge-based economy and society, the notions of ‘open’ and ‘openness’ are used in a variety of contexts; open source, open access, open economy, open government, open innovation – just to name a few. This paper aims at discussing openness and developing a taxonomy that may be used to analyse the concept of openness. Are there different qualities of openness? How are these qualities interrelated? What analytical tools may be used to understand openness? In this paper four qualities of openness recurrent in literature and debate are explored: accessibility, transparency, participation and sharing. To further analyse openness new institutional theory as interpreted by Williamson (2000) is used, encompassing four different institutional levels; cultural embeddedness, institutional environment, governance structure and resource allocations. At what institutional levels is openness supported and/or constrained? Accessibility as a quality of openness seems to have a particularly strong relation to the other qualities of openness, whereas the notions of sharing and collaborative economics seem to be the most complex and contested quality of openness in the knowledge-based economy. This research contributes to academia, policy and governance, as handling of challenges with regard to openness vs. closure in different contexts, territorial, institutional and/or organizational, demand not only a better understanding of the concept, but also tools for analysis.
Environment and Planning D: Society and Space (2014)
This paper develops an analytical framework to place the rise of open source urbanism in context, and develops the concept of the ‘right to infrastructure’ as expressive of new ecologies of urban relations that have come into being. It describes, first, a genealogy for open source technology, focusing in particular on how open source urban hardware projects may challenge urban theory. It moves then to describe in detail various dimensions and implications of an open source infrastructural project in Madrid. In all, the paper analyses three challenges that the development of open source urban infrastructures is posing to the institutions of urban governance and property: the evolving shape and composition of urban ecologies; the technical and design challenges brought about by open source urban projects; and the social organisation of the ‘right to infrastructure’ as a political, active voice in urban governance. In the last instance, the right to infrastructure, I shall argue, signals the rise of the ‘prototype’ as an emerging figure for contemporary sociotechnical designs in and for social theory.
This article presents commentary and analysis on the Urban Studies special collection on the night-time city. The collection highlights burgeoning interest in the urban night from across the social sciences and helps consolidate what might be referred to as the ‘third wave’ of research on the evening and night-time economy (ENTE). The collection addresses the challenges of 21st cen- tury place-making after dark in a variety of international contexts. This commentary interprets individual contributions to this collection in the light of the author’s research experience within an evolving and increasingly sophisticated field of knowledge. The articles have, I suggest, power relations, social exclusion and social sustainability as their most prominent meta-themes. I pro- pose a new conceptual model for the interpretation of situated assemblages of power, capacity and influence, as operating across four overlapping modes of urban 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.
Economic Anthropology (2015)
As one of 725 UNESCO World Heritage Properties, Antigua, Guatemala, is subject to local international regulations related to building codes and how streets and public places are occupied. These regulations are discussed within the theoretical framework of spatial governmentality to explore that relationship between governance and Maya street vendors’ economic practices. I situate the scholarly discussion of spatial governmentality within a specific economic context by highlighting how street economies are affected by what Foucault calls the “era of ‘governmentality,’” especially in an ethnographic context. In this article, I argue that horizontal and vertical forms of governmentality affect the economic practices of street vendors within Antigua’s sociopolitically constructed spaces. Understanding how spatial governmentalities work in a particular place helps explain why street economies persist and why new ones emerge. In Antigua’s case, a new mobile form of street vending emerged because of newly implemented municipal regulations and policing priorities.
PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review (2000)
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF URBAN AND REGIONAL RESEARCH (2015)
The socio-legal technology of licensing is one of the primary tools governments use to manage spaces and practices deemed risky or threatening to public order. Licensing requirements thus play a crucial role in shaping routine experiences in public space as well as the trajectories of emerging forms of public life. Yet licensing laws have largely been ignored in critical urban scholarship: too often concerned with the interpretation and critique of popular practices and public spaces, the mundane operations of urban governance are often left to practitioners and policy researchers. This article demonstrates how paying closer attention to licensure can provide valuable and unexpected insights into matters of social equality, urban amenity and economic opportunity. It does so through a comparative inquiry into practices of street food vending in New York City, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon. Drawing on ethnographic study and interviews, the article demonstrates how licensing can be involved in the production of quite peculiar and unjust geographies of practice, but also how shifts in popular culture can force a reconsideration of taken-for- granted laws. In conclusion, it is argued that a focus on licensing offers a productive pathway for new forms of critical urban research and provides a potential point of leverage in efforts to configure better and more democratic forms of urban public life.
City & Society (1998)
The notion of a hidden city of social reproduction, suggests that the uneven relations and material practices of social reproduction are respectively hidden and targeted by a neo-liberal urban agenda. A discussion of the public-private Grand Central Partnership in New York City, reveals some of the ways that this agenda is pursued through preservation, and addresses how particular social actors and their activities are removed from view in the interests of ensuring "orderly," "clean," and "safe" public space.
Urban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Economic Development (2006)
Privatized public space reflects a current moment in the ongoing negotiation of the relationship between the state and the market that is a central concern of liberalism. The configuration of this relationship has consequences for the nature of citizenship and democracy in theory and practice. Emblematic of a shift to the privatization of urban public space, California Plaza provides a case by which to examine the multiscalar interests and machinations of the neoliberal state in practice. Exploring the meanings of public and private that are produced by a corporate plaza enables an assessment of how privatized public space helps constitute contemporary citizenship. Institutional and legal frameworks serve as a foundation for the relative publicness of the corporate plaza. Techniques of exclusion and control through design features and security measures exclude errant bodies and regulate the seamlessness of the desired public. At the same time, counter practices indicate the emergence of spaces and subjects that destabilize presumed notions of public and private.
American Ethnologist (2008)
In this article, I explore how the festive culture of mulids, Egyptian Muslim saints-day festivals, troubles notions of habitus, public space, and religious and civic discipline that have become hegemonic in Egypt in the past century and how state actors attempt to “civilize” mulids by subjecting them to a spectacular, representative order of spatial differentiation. I argue that habitus must be understood as a political category related to competing relationships of ideology and
embodiment and that the conceptual and physical configuration of modern public space is intimately related to the bodily and moral discipline of its users.
Town Planning Review (1993)
Urban plazas have proliferated in American downtowns during the last decade. This paper examines the private production of open space as a form of privatisation of a public amenity. Using three case studies of plazas built by private capital in downtown Los Angeles, the study examines their development process, design and physical layout, management, control and social uses. It is found that the spaces display characteristics drastically different from those of traditional public places. Certain design cues in combination with stringent control practices are used in these settings to promote the purposes and goals of private enterprise. Characteristics such as introversion, enclosure, protection, escapism, commercialism, social filtering and exclusivity are seen as resulting in environments that are congruent with the private interests but not always beneficial to the general public.
Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review (2005)
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.
Urban Studies (2008)
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.