Manual Community and the Politics of Place

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Thomas Jefferson envisioned a nation of citizens deeply involved in public life. Daniel Kemmis argues that our loss of capacity for public life (which impedes our ability to resolve crucial issues) parallels our loss of a sense of place. Community and the Politics of Place also.
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Their "community network project" aims to unite local community-based organizations under an umbrella group that will share best practices and strategies for creating thriving parks and gardens. GreenSpace has been a crucial government partner, helping to develop CABE Space and collaborating in the management of the Living Spaces program, which provides direct grants to community groups seeking to improve their local environments. Its projects extend to urban and rural areas all over the UK, and its recent collaboration with PPS yielded London's first placemaking training course for professionals.

Together, these government and non-profit agencies have raised the profile of public spaces and the quality of the civic debate surrounding them. This can only be a good sign for the future of cities and towns in the UK. While it is too early to say whether the current climate of support for public spaces will effect widespread, lasting change, the building blocks are now in place thanks to visionary leadership and grassroots support.

All eyes were on London when congestion charging took effect, and its success may spur other car-centric cities—not just those in the UK—to put people and the public realm first. Likewise, if government programs such as CABE Space raise the bar for public spaces, placemakers everywhere may soon have many more friends at the top. Sign up for our regular placemaking newsletter full of resources, news, and opportunities, as well as occasional updates from Project for Public Spaces. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription. It appears either something went wrong or you are already a subscriber.

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Please contact info pps. Support PPS. Mal and community politics: the place-frames that receive the.

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Borges on Gregory, 'Black Corona: Race and the Politics of Place in an Urban Community'

Anakbayan PH. Carlo Vincent Balicas. Karen Kleiss. Sujata Dey. Jayalath Abayawardena Mudiyanselage. Nyegosh Dube. Marc Kevin Garcia Areta. Like livability and sustainability, place is an ensemble concept. A definition of place that recognizes the importance of location or territory and people has implications for the interpretation of livability. We may observe—in data or analysis—a fixed territory over time, but we are seldom observing a fixed collection of people. Even if we agree on how to measure livability for people who lived in Northam in , and then for people who lived there in , the collection of people is different at the two times, and the changes we describe are not necessarily relevant for every person there in or in A change in an indicator might not even be relevant for most of the people who lived there at either time, if the composition of the population changed rapidly.

Interpretation is complicated even more if we rely on statistical averages to measure livability, as we do frequently in practice. This duality affects livability.

Politics of Place (3 Book Series) by Tim Marshall

In addition, places evolve over time, so connections across time are also important. The connection between Northam in and Northam in may be as important as the one between Northam in and Southam in One of the most important aspects of time is the considerable inertia or path dependence in urban settings, economic specialization, socioeconomic composition, institutions, and other characteristics of places. These relationships can be described and analyzed in many different ways. No single way is completely satisfactory; everyone must draw artificial boundaries in order to describe the relationships between and among places.

As already mentioned, place involves both territory and people.

Another complication is that every person inhabits not a single place but a variety of places, not only over his or her lifetime, as is obvious, but also at any given moment. This phenomenon is due to the fact that people interact with the environment and with other people at many different scales simultaneously—in the home, the neighborhood, the town or city, the county, the state, the nation, and beyond.

Vertical refers to interactions between people, and between people and environment, within the confines of a given spatial concentration of population, production, and consumption. The word vertical is perhaps not all that evocative, but it does connote the accumulation or piling up of effects in a defined piece of territory. On the other hand, horizontal refers to interactions between places in the flows of people, goods, capital, and information.

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Horizontal characteristics of a place reflect relations of trade, commuting, migration, and communication. History is also important to the concept of place. As time passes, places change, and every place has a legacy of past events. Both vertical and historical characteristics are partly the result of history. It is for those reasons that place biographies are a recognized genre of historical writing.

Discrete historical events, as well as the historical evolution of cultural norms and values, economic organization, and technologies, help shape places. Transformations related to transportation include the building of railroads, which altered fundamentally the economic situations of towns dependent on canals; the emergence of long-haul trucking and industrial agriculture, which irrevocably altered many railroad-oriented towns built to serve family farmsteads; and the development of efficient long-haul air transportation, which fostered the growth of tourist destinations such as Florida, Las Vegas, and Hawaii.

In some places, the rise of the single-family suburban ideal home helped to devalue older, more traditional, urban neighborhoods; while in others, urban homesteading has recreated urban neighborhoods. The events that unfold throughout history change a place by changing the composition of its population because they induce movements in and out, and they also change the situations of many individuals who remain there.

The range of topics relevant to an understanding of place is enormous and so is the scholarly literature, and it is not appropriate to rehearse large parts of it here. This report concentrates on a few of the most pertinent ideas rather than trying to cover every possible angle of place.

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One way to think of place, both as location or territory and as people, is to start with the idea of nodes in networks. All persons participate in economic and social networks, and move—temporally and spatially—in and out of nodes in the networks. A node is a spatial and temporal cluster of interactions and common experiences, and it occurs wherever people meet together to work, buy and sell, study, talk, receive health care, cheer for a champion that represents them, or enjoy or fear the natural environment, for example.

We think of these places both as territory, which encloses the group of nodes, and as people, who occupy the same nodes with great frequency. A person is involved in many different nodes and places, at. There is no fixed answer to how best to group the nodes into meaningful places.

Community and the Politics of Place

These places exist at multiple scales ranging from the micro the home as a node and thus a place important to the vast majority of people to the macro the nation-state, or perhaps even group of nations as in Europe. Thus, one might care a great deal about one small place, with several interactions every day in a few square miles, and also care about a larger place, with only a few interactions each month in a territory of thousands of square miles.

To repeat, the meaning of frequently and near vary with the question at hand.

There are limits to this principle of multiplicity; not every location a person visits, or might possibly visit, is equally meaningful or is meaningful in the same way as are the territories and people near to home. As a first approximation, meaning declines as frequency of interaction and nearness decline, although there are many exceptions. Livability of a place, here, is never completely independent of the livability of places, there. The spatial dependence between places of similar scale is a determinant of the character of places at a higher scale : the dependence between homes in a city, for example, shapes the character of the entire city; the dependence between cities in a nation shapes the character of the entire nation.

"The Politics of Place"

Markets, movements of people, goods, and information, and governments that encompass more than one place create connections between places. Regional geographers and regional economists recognize some of these effects when they model agglomeration. The connections mean that decisions in a single place at one moment— about lifestyles, economic competitiveness, transportation choices for both people and goods, and environmental amenities—affect the livability of multiple other places at different scales and over the course of the future.

Our concern with nodes is consistent with the concern about time geography discussed in Chapter 3. The idea of places as clusters of. The following passage provides two hypothetical examples of the multiplicity of places, at different scales, that are important to people. A couple living in an apartment house in Milwaukee regards their neighborhood—their city block and a few adjoining blocks—as their place, because the nodes of home, common space of the apartment house, and stretches of sidewalk are important in their lives.

However, they also regard the school district as their place, because another important node in their social network is the high school that their children attend.


The school district is important even though the high school is several miles away from home—well out of the neighborhood. The couple regards both the neighborhood and the school district as their places, even though the two are based on different notions of near. The couple also regards the city of Milwaukee and some of its suburbs as their place, perhaps because both of them work in that region— though at different sites—and the economic prosperity of the entire metropolitan area is important to them. A good local transportation system in the metropolitan area as a whole, for both people and goods, will increase their access to a range of public and private services, products, and cultural and natural amenities.

The metropolitan region is also meaningful because of its cultural heritage, loyalty to certain sports teams, and homes of extended family members.