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Human congestion in new designed public spaces: Researching its social interactional potential

Lopes Simoes Aelbrecht, Patricia ORCID: 2023. Human congestion in new designed public spaces: Researching its social interactional potential. Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability 10.1080/17549175.2023.2284847

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This paper examines an emerging optimal condition for informal public social interaction, which has not yet been fully accepted or theorized in sociology and urban design. The condition in question is human congestion and is the target of current sociological and urban design critiques. This paper employs empirical material from a case study which illustrates and problematises this condition and its critiques. It uses Goffman’s “Interaction Order” as a theoretical and methodological framework, combining observational, interviewing, non-verbal communication, and spatial analysis methods, to examine the social interactional potential of a range of new public spaces designed with congestion in mind. In doing so, it problematises the critiques of human congestion demonstrating that informal public social interaction under such condition occurs more than it is necessary and that the spaces where it occurs can become valuable social spaces for a wide range of users.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Group
ISSN: 1754-9175
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 20 November 2023
Date of Acceptance: 14 November 2023
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2024 12:09

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