1st Edition

Terrain Vague Interstices at the Edge of the Pale

Edited By PATRICK BARRON, Manuela Mariani Copyright 2014
    272 Pages 90 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    270 Pages 90 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    As planners and designers have turned their attentions to the blighted, vacant areas of the city, the concept of "terrain vague," has become increasingly important. Terrain Vague seeks to explore the ambiguous spaces of the city -- the places that exist outside the cultural, social, and economic circuits of urban life. From vacant lots and railroad tracks, to more diverse interstitial spaces, this collection of original essays and cases presents innovative ways of looking at marginal urban space, with studies from the United States, Europe and the Middle East, from a diverse group of planners, geographers, and urban designers.

    Terrain Vague is a cooperative effort to redefine these marginal spaces as a central concept for urban planning and design. Presenting innovative ways of looking at marginal urban space, and focusing on its positive uses and aspects, the book will be of interest to all those wishing to understand our increasingly complex everyday surroundings, from planners, cultural theorists, and academics, to designers and architects.

    Table of Contents Preface Chapter 1. Patrick Barron, Introduction: “At the Edge of the Pale” Chapter 2. Ignasi de Solà-Morales, “Terrain Vague” I. Locations Chapter 3. Carole Lévesque, “Welcome to Bachoura, or the Found City as Interstice.” Chapter 4. Stavros Stavrides, “Open Space Appropriations and the Potentialities of a ‘City of Thresholds’”  Chapter 5. Jerry Herron, “Three Meditations on the Ruins of Detroit” Chapter 6. Tanu Sankalia, “Perception and Exploration of Interstitial Space: Slots in San Francisco” Chapter 7. Heike Rahmann and Marieluise Jonas, “Void Potential: Spatial Dynamics and Cultural Manifestations of Residual Spaces” II. Traversings Chapter 8. Francesco Careri, “Transurbance” Chapter 9. Stanka Radović, “On the Threshold: Terrain Vague as Living Space in Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker” Chapter 10. Guy Königstein, “Paradoxical Spaces” Chapter 11. Jennifer Scappettone, “Garbage Arcadia: Digging for Choruses in Fresh Kills” Chapter 12. Karen A. Franck, “Isn’t All Public Space Terrain Vague?” III. Applications Chapter 13. Jill Desimini, “Notions of Nature and a Model for Managed Urban Wilds” Chapter 14. Krystallia Kamvasinou and Marion Roberts, “Interim Spaces: Vacant Land, Creativity, and Innovation in the Context of Uncertainty” Chapter 15. Jim Stevens and Anirban Adhya, “The Interstitial Challenge: Manifestations of Terrain Vague in Detroit and Clichy-sous-Bois, Paris” Chapter 16. Elizabeth Golden, “Following the Berlin Wall” Chapter 17. Quentin Stevens, “Vague Recollections: Obscurity and Uncertainty in Contemporary Public Memorials”


    Manuela Mariani is an Italian architect and co-founder of the firm Intadesign. She has practiced in Italy and the Netherlands, as well as in the United States. She is Assistant Director of Foundation Studios at the Boston Architectural College, where she is part of the design studio faculty.

    Patrick Barron is an Associate Professor in English at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He has received awards from the Academy of American Poets, the American Academy in Rome, the Fulbright Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts. His books include The Selected Poetry and Prose of Andrea Zanzotto and Italian Environmental Literature: An Anthology.