Bringing together ideas from the fields of sociology, economics, human geography, ethics, political and communications theory, this book deals with some key subjects in urban design: the multidimensional effects of the spatial form of cities, ways of appropriating urban space, and the different material factors involved in the emergence of social life. It puts forward an innovative conceptual framework to reconsider some fundamental features of city-making as a social process: the place of cities in encounters and communications, in the randomness of events and in the repetition of activities that characterise societies. In doing so, it provides fresh analytical tools and theoretical insights to help advance our understanding of the networks of causalities, contingencies and contexts involved in practices of city-making.
In a systematic attempt to bring urban analysis and research from the social sciences together, the book is organised around three vital yet relatively neglected dimensions in the social and material shaping of cities: (i) Cities as systems of encounter: an approach to urban segregation as segregated networks; (ii) Cities as systems of communication: a view of shared spaces as a means to association and social experience; (iii) Cities as systems of material interaction: explorations on urban form as an effect of interactivity, and interactivity as an effect of form.
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