Since its publication in 1976, Ted Relph’s Place and Placelessness has been an influential text in thinking about cities and city life across disciplines, including human geography, sociology, architecture, planning, and urban design. For four decades, ideas put forward by this seminal work have continued to spark debates, from the concept of placelessness itself through how it plays out in our societies to how city designers might respond to its challenge in practice.
Drawing on evidence from Australian, British, Japanese, and North and South American urban settings, Place and Placelessness Revisited is a collection of cutting edge empirical research and theoretical discussions of contemporary applications and interpretations of place and placelessness. It takes a multi-disciplinary approach, including contributions from across the breadth of disciplines in the built environment – architecture, environmental psychology, geography, landscape architecture, planning, sociology, and urban design – in critically re-visiting placelessness in theory and its relevance for twenty-first century contexts.
Introduction, Robert Freestone & Edgar Liu
1.The paradox of place and the evolution of placelessness, Ted Relph
Section One – Place/lessness in design
2.Place and placelessness: An urban designer’s perspective, Jon Lang
3. Design theory’s role in place studies, Lucy Montague
4.Landscape architects and the remaking and reclaiming places of distinctions, Linda Corkery
5. The regulation of place distinctiveness, Gethin Davison
Section Two – Place/lessness in experience
6. Urban soundscapes: Place or placeless?, Rachel Cogger
7. Insidedness in an age of mobilities, John Tomaney
8. Cooperation and control at home, Hazel Easthope
9. Children and place in twenty-first century Australian cities, Kate Bishop
Section Three – Place/lessness in practice
10. Place-making or place-branding? The revitalisation of Downtown Detroit, Laura Crommelin
11. Placemaking in the rise of the airport city, Robert Freestone & Ilan Wiesel
12. Urban squares: A place for public life, Nancy Marshall
13. Placelessness and place identities: Inferences of latrinalia, Edgar Liu
Section Four – Place/lessness in question
14. Place as multiplicity, Kim Dovey
15. Place meets placelessness in the Japanese city, Matthew Carmona
16. Learning from the Global South: Investigating Informal Urbanisms, Aseem Inam
Afterword, Ted Relph
Ted Relph’s notion of placelessness opened up many new possibilities of how we understand the slippery notion of place. Many of them are realized in this multidisciplinary collection. With case studies that range from graffiti to malls and airports and with examples from Detroit to Melbourne and Seoul, it is a welcome contribution that explores how the social constructions of space create different places.John Rennie Short is the author of Human Geography: A Short Introduction.
Relph's "Place and Placelessness" Is the one seminal work that gave rise to a whole literature on the subject of place. It's about time that we look back to our original source of inspiration.
Yi‐Fu Tuan, University of Wisconsin‐Madison
As claims to 'place-making' proliferate in these neo-liberal times, the wide-ranging essays in this 40th anniversary homage to Place and Placelessness update both theory and practice in a global context.Professor John Punter, Cardiff University
Awarded a commendation in the 'Cutting Edge Research and Teaching' category of the 2016 Awards for Planning Excellence from the Planning Institue of Australia (NSW Chapter).