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Stewart, Jessica, 2011. Invisible City: Enhancing the parochial realm using inner courtyards as an alternative for public life in Gamla Staden, Malmö. Second cycle, A2E. Alnarp: SLU, Landscape Architecture (until 121231)



Society is continually changing, as are the cities that we live in. The urban structure is not a fixed entity, but a dynamic and evolving one, needing new and different ways of thinking and planning. A city’s public space does not escape these needs and it is necessary to recognise that the provision of public space could be approached in innovative ways, through experimentation, more flexible planning controls and questioning traditional values as well as learning from them.

This thesis is about exploring alternative approaches to public space in urban environments. Public space is a concept that carries preconceived connotations made up of certain typologies. This thesis aims to introduce new typologies into the discourse, through a proposal for public space in Gamla Staden, Malmö. While there is a current trend for this to be done through ‘loose space’ or ‘terrain vague,’ this thesis approaches this issue from the controversial standpoint of using the inner courtyards in the most significant part of the city as the subject for a new type of public space. The traditional dichotomy of public and private space is broken down through the creation of a new kind of public space, which collapses the boundaries between them and provides an alternative public space in the city. This new public space can be conceived of as exposing a new ‘parochial realm’ in the city, where a familiar public life is focused on, rather than the anonymous public life in the conventional spaces of the public realm.

This proposal demonstrates how these courtyards and passageways could be transformed to become incorporated into the structure of public space in the city. The design aims to provide a meeting place for residents, workers and visitors. The proposal seeks to improve the parochial realm of Gamla Staden through making intimate places for people to mingle and interact. The proposal is informed by an investigation of what it is that encourages people to integrate in a community. The amalgamation of all the components of this thesis results in a concept for Gamla Staden’s Urban Rooms, hidden in the secret gardens of the courtyard spaces.

The proposal that I suggest is not intended to be ‘an answer’ to the plan for public space in Gamla Staden, but rather, aims to initiate a discussion on the consequences, both positive and negative of the potentials of making the courtyards accessible to the public. It is not intended to replace the existing public spaces but merely to supplement them with some alternatives and more diverse options for public space, by providing spaces for communal use, out of the elements and protected from traffic.

Main title:Invisible City: Enhancing the parochial realm using inner courtyards as an alternative for public life in Gamla Staden, Malmö
Authors:Stewart, Jessica
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2011
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:LM001 Urban Landscape Dynamics - Master's Programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(LTJ, LTV) > Landscape Architecture (until 121231)
Keywords:Urban Public Space, Public/ Private dichotomy, Malmö, Alternative approaches to planning, Inner Courtyards, Parochial Realm
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Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Landscape architecture
Deposited On:22 Jun 2011 07:14
Metadata Last Modified:20 Apr 2012 14:20

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