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Title: Everyday public spaces in an ethnically diverse neighbourhood : contextualised convivialities and boundary-crossing urban design
Author: Vodicka, Goran
ISNI:       0000 0004 7651 389X
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis aims to deepen understandings of the everyday use of public open spaces through the lens of conviviality and in relation to urban design. The research is located in the Fir Vale neighbourhood of Sheffield (England), which can be described as superdiverse and in which the challenge of developing intercultural relationships between its residents has been made more complex by 'headline hungry' media stirring up controversy around the use of public spaces. In order to develop a rich understanding of these spaces, the research adopted an engaged, responsive approach, drawing on ethnography, and used a range of observations, interviews and creative group activities. The latter were developed in collaboration with local organisations in order to meet the researcher's ethical commitment to sharing benefits with participants during the research process. A range of local public open spaces were explored, providing rich insights into the use of urban green spaces and streets as well as the ways in which they are perceived by diverse residents. The data revealed highly nuanced and complex dynamics of convivial interactions. Although tensions were apparent, the predominantly negative narrative surrounding this neighbourhood and its public spaces was challenged by this research. In combination with insights from agonistic pluralism and urbanism (Mouffe 2005; Mostafavi 2017), these findings provoked an understanding of conviviality in intersection with spatial and temporal entanglements. I discuss the framing of a new construct of 'contextualised convivialities' as a way of refining the notion of conviviality, in particular for the applied field of urban design. The thesis further questions the adequacy of established urban design practice, especially in ethnically diverse areas, and argues for a re-thinking of the role of practitioners. Developing appropriate educational approaches for future, and existing, practitioners plays a crucial role in this proposal for urban design as a boundary-crossing engagement.
Supervisor: Rishbeth, Clare ; Cerulli, Cristina Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available