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Title: Informal spaces creative (re)appropriations of urban space
Author: Hudson, Joanne
Awarding Body: Manchester Metropolitan University
Current Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University
Date of Award: 2013
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Whilst there exists a body of work concerning the nature of wastelands and derelict spaces - what I term 'informal spaces' - within human geography, urban studies architecture and planning literature, there have been few attempts to link these theories with spatial planning practices. Accordingly, responding to this lack of sustained empirical research, this thesis explores the relationships between spatial planning practices and the production, (re)production and use of 'informal spaces,' ultimately aiming to further our knowledge of these complex relationships. It considers the potential of such spaces to act as a standpoint from which critical perspective towards much urban planning and design can be generated. Furthermore, investigating whether such commonly derided spaces can be conceptualised as a rich resource for urban life. The thesis does this by analysing how four chosen case studies within Manchester and Salford are appropriated, modified, performed, and conceptualised. Following the selection of the case studies, utilising qualitative data obtained by ethnographic methods including walking, observation and photography, unstructured interviews and further ethnographic interviews whilst walking, the study examines the ways in which such spaces are used by a variety of publics. Further qualitative data from semi-structured interviews, the analysis of secondary sources including current planning documents and historical data, are investigated and subsequently analysed to build an accurate genealogy of the sites, understanding in detail the planning contexts and future visions that have produce and sustain them as 'informal.' Key themes focus on the temporalities of the planning process as well as the ways in which stalled timescales intersect with other temporalities of nature and of cultural practice, encouraging appropriation. The ordering and disordering processes that designate and transform these spaces, are also discussed. Finally, the multiple affordances, encouraged by periods of temporal suspension and associated processes of disordering, that promote a diverse array of practices and potentialities are analysed. This research also contributes to debates surrounding the spatiality of dereliction.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available