1st Edition

Place and Placelessness Revisited

Edited By Robert Freestone, Edgar Liu Copyright 2016
    296 Pages
    by Routledge

    296 Pages
    by Routledge

    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


    Robert Freestone is  Professor of Planning in the Faculty of Built Environment at UNSW Australia. He joined UNSW in 1991 after six years with Design Collaborative, a Sydney planning, research, and heritage consultancy. He has also held appointments at the University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, and the Australian National University. His books include The Planning Imagination (co-editor, 2014), Urban Nation (2012), and Designing Australian Cities (2004).

    Edgar Liu is a Research Fellow at City Futures Research Centre in the Faculty of Built Environment at UNSW Australia. He has academic backgrounds in economic and cultural geography, and his research interests include social aspects of public estate renewals, housing as social welfare, and the conceptualization of human identities.

    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).