Why Public Space Matters

Product Details
Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
6.45 X 9.49 X 1.22 inches | 1.45 pounds

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About the Author
Setha Low received her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Low is currently Distinguished Professor of Environmental Psychology, Geography, Anthropology, and Women's Studies, and Director of the Public Space Research Group at The Graduate Center, City University of New York.

"Building on her groundbreaking earlier works, Low astutely describes public spaces as 'infrastructures of inclusion and exclusion, ' where people, politics and place converge and connect, opening spaces for the negotiation and contestation of new public cultures. Focusing on contemporary issues such as racial injustice, climate change, socioeconomic and class inequality, she details ways that public space contributes to the flourishing of individuals, communities, cities and societies" -- Julian Agyeman, Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, Tufts University

"From social justice to ecological sustainability, decades of public space fieldwork are usefully summarized in the latest 'all things public space' from Setha Low. A must have for all students of urbanism." -- Emily Talen, Professor of Urbanism, University of Chicago

"Most people, when asked their favorite memory of a city, mention public space--a plaza or a boulevard or a beach. How is it then that we understand so little about the social dynamics of places; that the designers and managers of public space seem to have so little research to support their work? In this book Setha Low sets out to fill that void. Why Public Space Matters is essential reading for anyone involved in the design, management, programming or simply the enjoyment, of public space." -- David Burney, Director, Urban Placemaking and Management, Pratt Institute

"In this brilliant and inspirational book, urban ethnographer Setha Low shows us why the stakes of debates about 'public space' in the 21st century could not be more serious and socially significant. In a world where we tend to either take public space for granted or express fear of the potential dangers they might hold, Low uses her nuanced theoretical lens and a variety of compelling ethnographic examples--from New York's Jones Beach and New Jersey's Lake Welch to Hudson Historical Park, Battery Park City after 9/11, and a thoughtful analysis of how the pandemic impacted the use and sense of public space in New York City--to demonstrate that discussions about democracy and social justice should never underestimate the importance of public space for the very sustainability of human life." -- John L. Jackson, Jr., Walter H. Annenberg Dean and Richard Perry University Professor, the University of Pennsylvania