1st Edition

Loose Space Possibility and Diversity in Urban Life

Edited By Karen Franck, Quentin Stevens Copyright 2006
    320 Pages
    by Routledge

    318 Pages
    by Routledge

    In cities around the world people use a variety of public spaces to relax, to protest, to buy and sell, to experiment and to celebrate. Loose Space explores the many ways that urban residents, with creativity and determination, appropriate public space to meet their own needs and desires. Familiar or unexpected, spontaneous or planned, momentary or long-lasting, the activities that make urban space loose continue to give cities life and vitality.

    The book examines physical spaces and how people use them. Contributors discuss a wide range of recreational, commercial and political activities; some are conventional, others are more experimental. Some of the activities occur alongside the intended uses of planned public spaces, such as sidewalks and plazas; other activities replace former uses, as in abandoned warehouses and industrial sites. The thirteen case studies, international in scope, demonstrate the continuing richness of urban public life that is created and sustained by urbanites themselves

    • Presents a fresh way of looking at urban public space, focusing on its positive uses and aspects.
    • Comprises 13 detailed, well-illustrated case studies based on sustained observation and research by social scientists, architects and urban designers.
    • Looks at a range of activities, both everyday occurrences and more unusual uses, in a variety of public spaces -- planned, leftover and abandoned.
    • Explores the spatial and the behavioral; considers the wider historical and social context.
    • Addresses issues of urban research, architecture, urban design and planning.
    • Takes a broad international perspective with cases from New York, London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Rome, Guadalajara, Athens, Tel Aviv, Melbourne, Bangkok, Kandy, Buffalo, and the North of England.


    Tying Down Loose Space Karen A. Franck and Quentin Stevens  Appropriation  Found Spaces: Freedom of Choice in Public Life Leanne G. Rivlin  Open-Ended Space: Urban Streets in Two Cultural Contexts Nisha A. Fernando  Betwixt and Between: Building Thresholds, Liminality and Public Space Quentin Stevens  Tension  Urban Appropriation and Loose Spaces in the Guadalajara Cityscape Bernardo Jiménez-Domínguez  Urban Slippage: Smooth and Striated Streetscapes in Bangkok Kim Dovey and Kasama Polakit  Transforming Public Space into Sites of Mourning and Free Expression Karen A. Franck and Lynn Paxson  Central Park: The Aesthetics of Order and the Appearance of Looseness Julia Nevárez  Resistance  Heterotopias and the Experience of Porous Space Stavros Stavrides  Stalker on Location Peter T. Lang  Dead Zones, Outdoor Rooms and the Architecture of Transgression Gil M. Doron  Discovery  Social Practices, Sensual Excess and Aesthetic Transgression in Industrial Ruins Tim Edensor  Unruly and Robust: An Abandoned Industrial River Lynda H. Schneekloth  Patterns of the Unplanned Urban Catalyst (Philipp Oswalt, Philipp Misselwitz and Klaus Overmeyer)  Annotated Bibliography


    Karen A. Franck is a Professor in the School of Architecture and the Department of Humanities at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
    Quentin Stevens is a Lecturer in urban design at the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London.

    'What the collection draws attention to is the growing interest in the cultural importance of urban fringes and terrains ... there are challenging ideas in these essays, and the issues raised are timely and indeed urgent.' - Green Places


    'A fascinating book ... contrasts with more traditional urban design texts.' - Urban Design