Law, Sensory Experience and Urban Space
The Making of the Regular City
- Available for pre-order. Item will ship after December 1, 2021
As many western countries are increasing their legal regulation and surveillance of public spaces, this book offers new ways of thinking about and addressing urban inhabitation, by showing how particular understandings of the world become entrenched through physical and sensory experience. Combining empirical work, analyses of cultural representations, historical research, and legal analysis, this book considers the ways in which urban regulation extends beyond written law, as it becomes interwoven with broader cultural concepts, images and representations. Taking the city of Melbourne, Australia, as a case study, the book looks at how the gridded structure of Melbourne’s city centre has, over time, been infiltrated with a network of small laneways. Beyond legal regulation, these overlooked and alternative public spaces offer a way of rethinking how we inhabit the city. More specifically, it is by attending to the embodied, sensory, experience of urban life that this book highlights the contingency of the city’s legal, political and social order. Denaturalising its established power and economic relations, it thus describes, not just the force, but also the fragility of the current regulatory processes through which urban subjectivity is conditioned.
Table of Contents
PART 1: EXPERIENCE AND POTENTIAL
Question: What is experience?
Chapter 1: The nature of laneways
Chapter 2: The matter of waste
Response: Experience is the present potential of excess
PART 2: OFF THE MAP
Question: What does it do to promote spaces ‘off the map’ as an escape?
Chapter 3: Lose yourself
Chapter 4: The cut
Response: The grid—the map—becomes the assumed norm
PART 3: THE EXPERIENCE OF ADDRESS
Question: How can we create an open address?
Chapter 5: Facing bodies
Chapter 6: Seats of inhabitation
Response: By inhabiting with others