24 August 2012

The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces

Observation is one of the most important research tools in (human) science. When researching about behavioral patterns of people, its advantage lies in the fact that the research subjects, not aware of being "studied", can act naturally. Urbanist and sociologist William Whyte produced, out of his Street Life research project, a book (1980) and a movie (1988), both titled The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces, focusing on how people interact with/in public space. This witty movie, shot New York, analyzes how relationship to the street, seating, sun, water, trees, food, and "triangulation" influence the success of urban spaces. Such a research cannot not remind of J. Gehl's Life Between Buildings...

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