Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Uncommon Ground: Urban Form and Social Territory
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Architecture, Urban Design. (Spatial Analysis and Design (SAD))ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6228-8765
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Implicit in any urban design is a negotiation between public and private interests. Such a negotiation is articulated and made legible in the facades, fences and even more subtle edges separating this from that. A complex variety of spatial situations are produced depending on how spaces are framed, how interfaces are materialized. In the city, the interplay of open space, building and boundary produces a patchwork of subspaces, which we can consider as potential urban territories. Most of us are familiar with the results of territorial production and recognize that fences, furniture or plantings are claims to space by an individual or group. However, the reason to conceive of this process as a territorial production may not be immediately apparent. Consequences of territorial production on percep-tions and behavior are rather under-analyzed, especially in the context of the city. This thesis looks specifically at territorial responses to urban form in the potential social arenas of shared yards in multifamily housing schemes. Drawing on territoriality- and commons-theory as a basis for morphological studies using spatial analysis (e.g. GIS), the thesis proposes that territorial uses of space are in part connected to characteristics of urban form. The thesis explores these spatial underpinnings of claims on space, examining historical, sociological and architectural perspectives and implications on current planning praxis. Parallels are drawn with the role of excludability and rivalry in the production of goods as per commons-theory. Recognizing that even territories like yards perform differently depending on built form characteristics is a step to designing open space with greater social utility. Most notably, the findings that spatial enclosure supports sense of ownership while spaciousness and size support frequency of use is knowledge useful to the practitioner with a role in the production of urban environments, whether in planning, design or construction. With increasing focus on sustainability in urbanism, factoring in social sustainability in land use means recognizing what makes yards inviting to use and elicit feelings of stewardship. Moreover, the importance of legibility at the interface of public and private has implications for design of public space as well. What appears to have been insufficiently problematized in the past are the non-excludable, rivalrous yards which appear to be parks, but do not perform as such territorially. The thesis suggests how a theoretical basis may support design inter-ventions and even densification to resolve such “territorial instability.”

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. , 383 p.
TRITA-ARK. Akademisk avhandling, ISSN 1402-7461 ; 2015:2
Keyword [en]
territoriality, interface, social sustainability, morphology, commons, stewardship, open space, yards, spatial analysis
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-183394ISBN: 978-91-7595-823-1OAI: diva2:910671
Public defence
2016-04-13, Arkitekturskolan, room A123, Osquldas väg 9, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2008-1474

QC 20160310

Available from: 2016-03-10 Created: 2016-03-09 Last updated: 2016-03-16Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

Uncommon Ground(193462 kB)328 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT02.pdfFile size 193462 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Minoura, Eva
By organisation
Urban Design

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 332 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 1631 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link