1st Edition

Capital Spaces The Multiple Complex Public Spaces of a Global City

By Matthew Carmona, Filipa Wunderlich Copyright 2013
    320 Pages
    by Routledge

    320 Pages
    by Routledge

    In recent years it has become common-place to hear claims that public space in cities across the globe has become the exclusive preserve of the wealthy and privileged, at the expense of the needs of wider society. Whether it is the privatization of public space through commerical developments like shopping malls and business parks, the gentrification of existing spaces by campaigns against perceived anti-social behaviour or the increasing domination of public areas by private transport in the form of the car, the urban public space is seen as under threat.

    But are things really that bad? Has the market really become the sole factor that influences the treatment of public space? Have the financial and personal interests of the few really come to dominate those of the many?

    To answer these questions Matthew Carmona and Filipa Wunderlich have carried out a detailed investigation of the modern public spaces of London, that most global of cities. They have developed a new typology of public spaces applicable to all cities, a typology that demonstrates that to properly assess contemporary urban places means challenging the over-simplification of current critiques. Global cities are made up of many overlapping public spaces, good and bad; this book shows how to analyze this complexity, and to understand it.

    1. Global Place, Contested Space?  2. A City of Squares, Opportunity and Neglect  3. A City of Growth, Retrenchment and Renaissance  4. The ‘New’ London Squares  5. Spaces of the Corporate City  6. Spaces of the Civic City  7. Spaces of the Consumption City  8. Spaces of the Community City  9. Spaces of the Domestic Sphere  10. Spaces from the In-Between  11. Evolving Space in a Global City


    Matthew Carmona is Professor of Planning and Urban Design at UCL’s Bartlett School of Planning. His research has focused on processes of design governance and on the design and management of public space. Matthew was educated at the University of Nottingham, from which he holds a PhD. He is an architect planner. His recent books include Public Places Urban Spaces: The Dimensions of Urban Design and Urban Design Reader (both for Architectural Press). Also, Public Space: The Management Dimension and Measuring Quality in Planning: Managing the Performance Process (both for Routledge).

    Filipa Matos Wunderlich is Lecturer in Urban Design at UCL’s Bartlett School of Planning. Her research has focused on place temporality and the rhythmicity of everyday urban places, and also on walking and the urban design process. Filipa was educated at the University of Porto, the Technical University of Delft and latterly at UCL, from which she holds a PhD. After completing her PhD she worked as a Research Fellow with Professor Carmona. She is an architect urban designer.

    "Capital Spaces presents a systematic review of London’s public realm with an emphasis on the last fifteen years. Many of the findings apply to other cities and constitute a useful handbook for urban designers." — Judith Ryser, Issue 127, Summer 2013, Urban Design