Experiencing Cities is basically an introduction to matters concerning urban sociology and it is heavily based on aspects like symbolic interaction and microsociology.It basically emphasizes some of the ways in which people normally experience some vital aspects of the urban world and life. It entails how people in the urban areas interact with one another in their daily lives and other aspects like for instance how they create meaning from their physical environments. A public space is a place that should be taken care of very well because it benefits more than just one individual. Most urban places are normally well planned to ensure that all are well catered for.
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A public realm is basically an urban space where people mingle and most of their activities take place there (Hutter, 2011). The third space is a term that is commonly used in community building concepts which refer to the social surroundings which separate the two common social environments i.e. the home and the work place. In most cases the very important official and civic buildings tend to be a bit smaller physically than most of the private structures which are around them. Mike Davis believes that “this is simply because in most cases human beings always seem to mistake size for importance or significance.” Most civic building are normally small but very important. Public spaces such as parks and third places are very important for cities and any other urban place (Lofland, 1998).
Sharon Zukin holds the view that “for any city to properly develop concerned authorities have to consider gentrification, deindustrialization and immigration.”Most open urban space, whether it is a square or a plaza is always detached from any other surrounding building or blocks by at least a surrounding street. In any urban place an attached open field or space is in most cases they share the urban blocks with one or more bigger buildings. According to William H. Whyte in his works called empirical studies on the behaviors of urbanites , the space that is always found between an urban place and a rural place is more likely to be put in use than one that are surrounded by heavy traffic for instance.
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William H. Whyte basically captured the dangerous effects of blank walls when he said that they "proclaim the power of the institution, the inconsequence of the individual, whom they are clearly meant to put down, if not intimidate." Urban spaces in most cases are activated largely by the life of those in the buildings that border them, particularly if they are buildings that supply household goods like food and drinks. Whyte believes that the most utilized spaces are those at the corner of a building. Commercialization, privatization and the growing concern over security impact on public space negatively because with all this, the population of people increases and hence more risks come up.
Lynn Lofland in analyzing how people come up with social settings, she belives that “the process of creating a public space should be a gradual induction.” Ray Oldenburg believes that “Life without a community has created for many people a life style which consists mainly of a back and forth movement between home and work, the social well-being and the mental health of an individual depend upon his community.” Other scholars like Jane Jacobs hold the view that “the other threat to the community security of any tradition, I believe, lies at home. It is the current fear of radical ideas and of people who propound them.” When planning an n urban center some of the factors to be put in consideration include population and space available.
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