Stalker on Location

Loose Space: Possibility and Diversity in Urban Life

Edited by Karen A. Franck and Quentin Stevens

Routledge     November 2006    304 pp 102 illus

Many scholars have described how urban activities, histories and identities are prescribed, controlled and homogenized. Far less attention, however, has been paid to the myriad possibilities that public space still offers people to do what they choose. Loose Space explores the continuing richness of public life that is created and sustained by urbanites themselves. 

With thirteen case studies from different countries, Loose Space describes the many ways that urban residents, with determination and imagination, appropriate public space to meet their needs and desires. Familiar or unexpected, spontaneous or planned, momentary or more long lasting, the activities that make urban space “loose” continue to give cities life and vitality.

The book focuses on physical spaces and how people use them. Contributors describe recreational, commercial and political activities; some of them are conventional, others are more experimental. The activities take place in a wide variety of locations: alongside the intended uses of planned public spaces such as sidewalks and plazas, and in place of former uses, as in a vacant lots and abandoned warehouses.

Introduction 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 Different 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

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