The Interstitial Spaces of Urban Sprawl : Geographies of Santiago de Chile’s Zwischenstadt book cover
1st Edition

The Interstitial Spaces of Urban Sprawl
Geographies of Santiago de Chile’s Zwischenstadt

ISBN 9780367334710
Published January 26, 2022 by Routledge
220 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book proposes the idea of interstitial space as a theoretical framework to describe and understand the implications of in-between lands in urban studies and their profound transformative effects in cities and their urban character.

The analysis of the interstitial spaces is structured into four themes: the conceptual grounds of interstitial spaces; the nature of interstices; the geographical scale of interstices; and the relationality of interstices. The empirical section of the book introduces seven cases that illustrate the varied nature of interstitiality to finally discuss its implications in the broader field of urban studies. Reflections upon further lines of enquiry and theories of urbanisation, urban sprawl, and cities are highlighted in the conclusion chapter.

This is the ideal text for scholars of urban planning, strategic spatial planning, landscape planning, urban design, architecture, and other cognate disciplines as well as advanced students in these fields.

Table of Contents


List of Figures

Foreword by N Phelps



Interview Sources

CHAPTER 1. Enquiring into urban sprawl: Is it all about the built-up space?

    1. Introduction
    2. Research design
    3. Statement of aims
    4. The structure of the book

CHAPTER 2. The urban sprawl debate and the Zwischenstadt: Where is the interstitial geography?

2.1. Introduction

2.2. Traditional sprawl and the morphological approach

2.3. The evolution of urban sprawl and its underlying politics

2.4. Introducing the interstitial space

2.5. The geographical scope of the interstitial spaces

2.5.1. The inner suburbia

2.5.2. Contiguous expansion

2.5.3. The urbanised countryside

2.6. Conclusions

CHAPTER 3. The interstitial spaces of urban sprawl

3.1. Introduction

3.2. Critical antecedents from a fragmentary literature

3.3. The abstract grounds of the interstitial spaces

3.4. Towards a definition of the interstitial space

3.4.1. Dissecting the notion of ‘interstice’

3.4.2. Scrutinising the notion of ‘space’

3.4.3. Finding the common ground

3.4.4. Situating the interstitial geography

3.5. Conclusions

CHAPTER 4. The nature of interstitial spaces

4.1. Introduction

4.2. The empirical grounds of interstitial spaces

4.3. The emergence of interstitial spaces

4.3.1. Geographical and functional constraints

4.3.2. The socio-cultural determinants

4.3.3. The economic determinants

4.3.4. Policy-based determinants

4.3.5. Infrastructural determinants

4.4. The significance of interstitial spaces

4.4.1. Incidental spatial gaps

4.3.2. The idle lands

4.3.3. The interstices as socio-cultural spaces

4.3.4. Interstitial spaces as open and green infrastructure

4.3.5. Opportunities for urbanisation and preservation

4.3.6. Bridge spaces between regional and planetary exchange

4.5. Conclusions

CHAPTER 5. The scales of the interstitiality

5.1. Introduction

5.2. The scales of interstitial spaces

5.2.1. The scale of proximity

5.2.2. The scale of transition

5.2.3. The regional interstitial scale

5.2.4. The scale of remoteness

5.3. Conclusions

CHAPTER 6. The relational character of interstitial spaces

6.1. Introduction

6.2. The infrastructures and networks of interstices

6.3. The functional relationality of interstitial spaces

6.4. The spatial relationality of interstitial spaces

6.5. Conclusions

CHAPTER 7. Exploring seven interstitial spaces in Santiago de Chile

7.1. Introduction

7.2. Urban sprawl in Santiago de Chile

7.3. The emergence of interstitial spaces of Santiago

7.3.1. Interstitial spaces as ‘built-up’ or ‘urban’ zones

7.3.2. Land atomisation and land privatization

7.3.3. Conurbation zones

7.3.4. Enclosing farming and industrial lands

7.3.5. Administrative boundaries

7.3.6. Open tracts as interstitial spaces

7.3.7. Planning policies and regulations

7.3.8. Financial constraints

7.3.9. Infrastructural interstitial spaces

7.4. Seven cases in Santiago de Chile

7.4.1. The Cerrillos Airport site

7.4.2. The military airbase ‘El Bosque’

7.4.3. ‘La Platina’ site

7.4.4. ‘Campus Antumapu’

7.4.5. Huertos Obreros y Familiares [Workers and Familial Orchards]

7.4.6. The gravel pits of La Florida/Puente Alto

7.4.7. The southern conurbations

7.5. Conclusions

CHAPTER 8. The implications of interstitial spaces in urban studies

8.1. Introduction

8.2. Why the interstitial spaces in urban studies?

8.3. Filling a hermeneutical injustice

8.4. Vindicating cities from the interstitial spaces

8.5. Conclusions

CHAPTER 9. Conclusions

9.1. Introduction

9.2. The lessons from Santiago de Chile

9.3. Final remarks



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Cristian Silva is an architect and urbanist with an MA in Architecture from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and a PhD in Urban Studies from the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London (UCL). He is currently teaching in the areas of institutional and policy context of planning practice, urban design, health and wellbeing, and independent research at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK. His research profile lies in the intersections between urban design, spatial planning, and social theory.