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Reading group

‘Streets have always been scenes of conflict. Several competing population groups, establishments, public agencies, and professions vie with one another for control of the street space, each representing or claiming to be the public. The most powerful or well established groups win, but they do not by any means represent the public interest.’
Donald Appleyard, 1989

Streets are scenes of conflict. They are contested public spaces where fundamentally different people can meet. Architects, planners, designers and policy makers have designed, managed and controlled the way streets are used, occupied and transited. Academics have raise awareness of the value of streets that are diverse, vibrant and inclusive, while urban policy has many times focused on the commercial value of city streets, and urban design practice focuses on the formal and aesthetic principles that constitute a good street.
But what makes a good street? Is it the boundaries and thresholds created by buildings binding it? Is it the programme and use of those buildings? Or is it the street’s identity, history and memory? How different is a street defined by one single block building, from a succession of diverse plot sized buildings? Do these physical elements affect the use and perception of the street? 
This reading group will explore different approaches to the analysis of streets as public spaces. We invite students, academics and professionals of architecture, planning, anthropology, sociology, history, psychology, film, media, arts and any other discipline interested in the analysis of public space.


Location: Training room 8 – The Graduate School - Queen’s University Belfast


Dates: Thursdays 12.00pm
11 October 2018 / 15 November 2018/ 13 December 2018


Please RSVP Agustina Martire to confirm your attendance. a.martire@qub.ac.uk
Please bring your own lunch and coffee.

Reading week 1 A

Jan Gehl - How to study public life

Reading week 1 B

Sarah Pink - An urban tour
The sensory sociality of ethnographic
place-making