¨ unexpectable changes. ¨ That’s why the role of

¨  Every
single public space is unique as in every project we can witness different
forms of collective appropriation, different forms of circulation of goods and
people, flows, which establish scales of sociality and sociability in different

¨  This
plurality makes it difficult for architects, urbanists and designers to decide
a project because it will always be uncertainties of the way people will use
the space in the future.

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¨  The
more we standardize, the more we are sure to create an unsuccessful public
space, users of the space behave and appropriate the space differently
according to their background politics believes economy or others.

¨  The
approach and the reflection on the design of a public space relies on the
users, the urban and social practices that take place there, the scenes of the
daily life, the sensible apprehension of the spaces , the historical dimensions
, geographical and economic of urban life.

¨  In fact, cities are undergoing major
transformations in the way of thinking, working, consuming, moving, which can
sometimes make very successful spaces in the past obsolete today. Too
often the planning takes place in a temporality, unfortunately this dimension
of time in planning neglect other all unexpectable changes.

¨  That’s why the role of
decision-makers becomes important for renewal and updating of social practices.


¨  What impact can users have on the
urban space, are they active or passive?

¨  Are the citizens influenced by the
design and the vision of the designer or by their practices and daily habits?

¨  Should
the layout of the public space influence the practices that take place there?

¨  What
types of space appropriation can affect the urbanist programming?

¨  What
is the articulation between social question and urban question?

¨  Many
public spaces are empty, vandalized, or used mostly in different way that it
was designed before why?


Spatial practices: Chapter VII Walking in the city, Michel
de Certeau

City is a place of constant transformation
and appropriation it is impossible for architects designers urbanists end
politicians to define a space as it will be used in 10 or 20 years they will be
always a part of subjectivity.

Unexpected movement footsteps (also man of
the crowd)

1. From the concept of the city to urban practices Page

“Today, whatever the avatars of this
concept may have been, we have to acknowledge that if in discourse the city
serves as a totalizing and almost mythical landmark for socioeconomic and
political strategies, urban life increasingly permits the re-emergence of the
element that the urbanistic project excluded.”

1. From the concept of the city to urban
practices  Page 96

“…In the present conjuncture, which is
marked by a contradiction between the collective mode of administration and an
individual mode of reappropriation, this question is no less important, if one
admits that spatial practices in fact secretly structure the determining
conditions of social life. I would like to follow out a few of these multiform,
resistance, tricky and stubborn procedures that elude discipline without being
out-side the field in which it is exercised, and which should lead us to a
theory of everyday practices, of lived space, of the disquieting familiarity of
the city.”

2. The chorus of idle footsteps page 100

“….the geometrical space of urbanists and
architects seems to have the status of the “proper meaning”
constructed by grammarians and linguists in order to have a normal and
normative level to which they can compare the drifting of
“figurative” language. In reality, this faceless “proper”
meaning cannot be found in current use, whether verbal or pedestrian; it is
merely the fiction produced by a use that is also particular, the
metalinguistic use of science that distinguishes itself by that very

Occupying architecture between the architect and the
user, Jonathan Hill

Analogy with architecture

“There appears to be enormous gap between
the complexity of architecture and the simplicity of a sheet of paper and yet
architects make drawings not buildings (page 144) …to manipulate the white
paper, the architect must use it spatially ,as a site ,as a space with depth,
smell, sounds ,material and even use (page 145) “.

“An architecture that responds to the
creative unpredictability of the user is more likely to be produced by an
illegal architect (page 147) “.

Rem Koolhas architecture is a paradoxical
mixture of power and powerlessness (page 143) “.

Architecture influences many things but
determines very few should be a source of optimism not pessimism (page 143) “.

Man of the Crowd, Edgar Allan Poe

The narrator ignored someone that does not
fit into his predetermined classifications. This eventual disregard shows that
there is no true individuality in the city. If other people like this man
cannot be classified, they are probably simply ignored;

Each person is defined as being part of a
group within the crowd and as a part of the crowd generally. It is this loss of
individuality that gives meaning to the vagueness.


Relying on
programming to add activity to a space or change people.
Project that has changed people’s use of the space

The project is part of an urban improvement
plan coordinated by the City of Copenhagen.

The objective is to upgrade the Norrebro
neighbourhood to a high standard of urban development by attracting all social

It is designed as a kind of world exposition
for the local inhabitants, covering over 60 nationalities, who have been able
to contribute their own ideas and artefacts to the project (the neighbourhood
is known for the diversity of his inhabitants)

Urban and architectural intent and its
manifestation in reality


Walking through the square on working days, I
could see that the reality wasn’t quite matching the dream. 


A design affects people’s behavor and vice versa, I think it is a cause
and effect relationship ;

The public space must remain open to allow a
part of the unknown to emerge, to new possibilities of existing. In its own
planning constraints, the common space must offer multiple perspectives, a
quality that manifests itself through the plurality of uses. The more it offers
an availability of uses and outlets, a combination of different sequences of
urban life, the better the space works.

A better understanding of the issues involved
from different points of view (resident, user, designer, technician, elected
…), which lead to integrate into urban projects dimensions previously absent
and invites to consider otherwise the development.