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Re-articulating culture in the context of urban regeneration: a thirdspace approach

Re-articulating culture in the context of urban regeneration: a thirdspace approach

Smith, Melanie Kay (2009) Re-articulating culture in the context of urban regeneration: a thirdspace approach. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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The aim of this thesis is to provide a new framework for cultural regeneration planning, the so-called 'Thirdspace approach', while examining the different ways in which culture is articulated in the context of urban regeneration. The research critically analyses approaches to urban regeneration which have used culture as a tool to influence development. It will be argued that the multiplicity of stakeholder voices and viewpoints are rarely heard by those who manage and plan urban regeneration, especially those of diverse local communities. Cultural planning has already started to take into consideration the lives and traditions of local places and people, however it is argued that a Thirdspace framework (Soja, 1996 as influenced by Lefebvre, 1974) takes this a stage further. Thirdspace suggests that planning should mediate between physical and material elements, symbolic visions and perceptions, and lived experiences and everyday life in urban environments. Using a case study of Maritime Greenwich in South-East London, the researcher employs a crystallisation of mainly qualitative methods to challenge prevailing planning paradigms in the context of culture-led regeneration.

A Thirdspace framework helps to elucidate the complex inter-relationships between individuals and organisations and the representation and production of city space. More creative synergies are developed between academic disciplines and practical actions than in previous studies. The research advocates more holistic approaches to planning with the accommodation of multiple viewpoints and the consultation of diverse stakeholders, which are prerequisites for sustainable urban regeneration. The data analysis leads to the establishment of new models of communication, consultation and social impact research. Although planners are still viewed as central to the regeneration process, recommendations for good practice encourage them to question their ingrained value systems and to engage in more open and radical thinking.

By using a participatory Thirdspace framework, different perceptions, functions and uses of culture can be accommodated. Whether culture is articulated as being about leisure, business, tourism or everyday life, benefits can be maximised for multiple user groups with important links to quality of life issues. Overall, the research demonstrates that Thirdspace thinking can produce a form of cultural planning which is even more pluralistic and inclusive, aspirational and creative, as well as emancipatory and progressive.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:
Uncontrolled Keywords: urban regeneration, culture, planning, Thirdspace
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Humanities & Social Sciences
School of Humanities & Social Sciences > Department of History, Philosophy and Politics
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:14
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None

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