The Resurging City And The Urban Renaissance Geography Essay

This chapter provides an debut to the research undertaking. The intent of the survey is explained, followed by the geographical context of the research. The instance surveies used in the comparative survey are detailed, supplying justification for choice. Last the research aims and aims of the survey are outlined to supply the developmental model for the remainder of the survey.

1.1 The Resurging metropolis and the urban Renaissance

In recent old ages, metropoliss have shifted from infinites of urban decay to dynamic countries of resurgence: “a singular re-conceptualisation” , harmonizing to Greene et Al. ( 2007, p. 1 ) . Local authorities governments and academic circles celebrate, and review, the metropolis ‘s return as an of import site of revival ( Parkinson et al. , 2004 ) . Surrounding the resurgence of metropoliss, the impression of ‘urban Renaissance ‘ has transpired, an urban policy epitomised by the British Government ‘s Urban Task Force, with several studies and documents measuring the new construct ( Rogers, 1999 ; DETR, 2000 ) . Recent surveies of urban development draw attending to the Renaissance of the metropolis and the importance of urban planning policy to better the urban environment ( Parkinson et al. , 2004 ; Greene et al. , 2007 ; McDonald et al. , 2009 ) .

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1.1.1 New public infinite

As portion of the metropolis ‘s Renaissance, the revival and creative activity of public infinite has emerged as a requirement and accelerator for successful urban landscapes ( Moughtin, 2003 ) . In this thrust to redevelop the metropolis, urban development and planning practicians have farther recognised the importance in the quality of the urban environment and the metropolitan image engendered in the ocular urban landscape ( Rogers, 1999 ; DETR, 2000 ) . In the last few decennaries at that place has been a noticeable addition in the regeneration of public infinite ( Chua and Edwards, 1992 ; Carr, 1992 ; CABE, 2007 ) . Specifically, Madanipour ( 1999 ) notes the reclamation and development of public squares as of import sites of production and ingestion for both citizens and aliens.

1.2 The intent of the survey

Research for this survey draws on relevant literature and arguments on public urban infinite, utilizing Geographic conceptualizations from sub-disciplinary urban and cultural Fieldss. Associating the constructs of ‘urban renovation ‘ and ‘public infinite ‘ with the topic of ‘the populace ‘ , the paper seeks to turn to its importance as a map of urban policy. The nucleus of the survey is to construe the relationship between the public and public infinite and more widely to find how urban infinite is consumed and perceived, together with the engagement of the populace in the production of infinite. To accomplish this, a assorted methodological model of participant observation, cardinal informant interviews and questionnaire studies is employed, accomplishing a broader position when sing how public infinite is understood.

1.3Study country: Southampton

The Urban Design Group ( 2001 ) identifies Southampton as a metropolis Centre in demand of improved public installations and a more attractive environment. Pinch asserts ( 2002 ) , “Southampton lacks a certain something- urban character, manner, dynamism” ( p. 71 ) : general feelings of the metropolis that the council is now seeking to get the better of. Recently, the City Council proposed the development of a cultural one-fourth in the metropolis Centre, as portion of the wider urban regeneration. The cultural one-fourth proposal aims to accomplish “an country alive with humanistic disciplines, heritage, amusement, events, music, coloring material and dramatic architecture” ( Southampton City Council, 2009 ) . A cardinal component of the cultural one-fourth is the renovation of the Guildhall Square, a ignored country underused by the populace, yet is besides an of import site situated outside the metropolis ‘s multipurpose edifice, incorporating maps such as the civic Centre, library and the South ‘s largest amusement locale. Southampton metropolis council describes its vision in the Cultural Quarter Pack ( 2009 ) :

“When complete, the modern-day infinite will have many striking design characteristics, doing it the perfect meeting topographic point and puting for executing humanistic disciplines shows, exhibitions and an array of exciting events” .

Southampton has merely late followed the cultural way to urban regeneration, and is in the design and execution phases of renovation. The Guildhall Square was chosen due to its significance as the cardinal hub of the metropolis, every bit good as the importance of the environing country, which is a focal point for retail, concerns, touristry, socializing and amusement. Furthermore the site was extremely suited due its handiness and propinquity for study respondents and interviewees, doing informations aggregation more accessible. The drumhead points of the Guildhall Square undertaking are tabulated below ( Table 1.3.1 ) .

Table 1.3.1 Introductive sum-up of the Guildhall Square


Guildhall Square

Geographic location

Southampton City Centre, outside the Civic Centre

Year of building

Due for completion in August 2010


Bardon Construction


Focal point for the metropolis and its proposed cultural one-fourth. A important public meeting topographic point.


New proposed square, portion of broad cultural one-fourth.

Beginning: Writer

This survey is alone among other public infinite surveies in that it focuses entirely on the public square in the metropolis Centre, which is non a survey country that been readily identified in other surveies of public infinite. It farther assesses public perceptual experiences of infinite prior to the completion of the new public infinite. This attempts to measure the current use and perceptual experiences of the infinite, with the purpose of construing the suitableness of the site and the response of the undertaking by the populace. From initial contact with the Humanistic disciplines Complex Project Leader ( interview # 1 ) , Southampton City Council recognised it had non undertaken any public research or acquired community feedback sing the site, therefore it is hoped that the survey could be good to the City Council and its spouses in their policy on the proviso of urban infinite. The research of this survey could be used as a comparing for rating once the square is completed, in order to supervise the transmutation that the undertaking has had on the public kingdom.

1.4 Study purposes: purposes and aims of the research

The overarching research purpose is to understand the relationship between the populace and the public infinite of the Guildhall Square. The elaborate purposes and aims below are formulated to help greater apprehension of the focal point of the research.


  1. Explore and understand the map of the public square as portion of the urban public infinite in Southampton ;
  2. Interpret the forms of ingestion in the square and how people move in the public infinite ;
  3. Understand the public perceptual experience of public infinite and the square, the degree of public engagement in the renovation undertaking.


  1. Review the literature environing the construct of public squares, specifically the relationship between public infinite and the populace ;
  2. Identity, through key-informant interviews, the planning procedure behind the square and the degree of public engagement ;
  3. Explore the ingestion forms of the infinite utilizing experimental techniques ;
  4. Converse with the populace to analyze their perceptual experiences on public infinite and their degree of engagement in the renovation ;
  5. Draw decisions on the significance, impact and restrictions of the public square and how it might develop in the hereafter.

1.5 Report construction

The debut detailed in this chapter provides the foundation for the remainder of the research survey. Following this, the literary context of public infinite and public squares is critically analysed to place the chief academic arguments and possible literary spreads. Next, the methodological model is outlined, supplying inside informations and justification of the research methods. The research information is so presented and analysed to construe findings linked to the original research purposes. Following this, decisions are drawn, summarizing cardinal findings, their broader deductions for the metropolis ‘s wider urban development and eventually suggestions for future research.

Z. Avery Chapter two: literature reappraisal

Chapter 2: Developing public infinite: a reappraisal of the literature

This chapter reviews the literature environing urban regeneration, public infinite and public squares. A comprehensive treatment of the chief subjects, pertinent arguments and literary spreads is provided, puting the survey within the theoretical context of old academic research.

2.1 Urban regeneration and urban design

The chief driver of the aforesaid urban Renaissance is notably the response by urban be aftering practicians to aim the reverberations of post-industrial decay through the medium of urban regeneration ( Couch, 1990 ; Robert and Sykes, 2000 ; Imrie and Raco, 2003 ) . Urban regeneration denotes “the transmutation of a topographic point ( residential, commercial or unfastened infinite ) that has displayed the symptoms of environmental ( physical ) , societal and/or economic decline” ( Evans and Shaw, 2004, p. 4 ) . A major focal point of urban regeneration research has been the restructuring of urban policy ( McDonald et al. , 2009 ) . A noteworthy stage of policy reform was the constitution of the Urban Task Force ( UTF ) , promoting holistic and incorporate urban planning ( DETR, 2000 ) . Since so, the rules of urban regeneration have turned to encompass altering modern-day thoughts of how urban landscapes should be developed and managed.

Urban design is an progressively recognized urban regeneration construct, embodied as one of the cardinal rules of the urban Renaissance by the UTF ( Rogers, 1999 ) . Greed and Roberts ( 1998 ) argue that the present and future docket for urban design is “designing to suit a successful Renaissance of the centres” ( p. 34 ) , to turn to the issue of revitalizing metropolis Centres. The recent independent authorities study focuses on ‘design excellence ‘ , demanding that “greater significance be given to the design and direction of the public realm” ( DETR, 2005, p. 5 ) . This is manifested in urban policies across Britain, with urban design in this context employed by local authorities governments to originate regeneration. Glasgow is one of the earlier metropoliss to use urban design as portion of its urban Renaissance ( Gillespies, 1990 ) ; its experiences have since been adopted by other UK and European metropoliss. For illustration, Manchester and Dublin ( Greed and Roberts, 1998 ) , Birmingham ( Hubbard, 1995 ) , Barcelona ( Julier, 2000 ) and Newcastle-Gateshead ( Bailey et al. , 2004 ) .

2.2 Urban public infinite

Public infinite is non a new phenomenon. The construct as a dimension of urban administration is by and large understood as any enclosed or unfastened infinite with public entree ( Madanipour, 1999 ) . Over clip the rhetoric of public infinite has become more luxuriant and defined, now assisted with an array of attempts in its definition. Carr ( 1992 ) proposes that “public infinite is the phase upon which the play of communal life unfolds” ( p. 3 ) . Academic research undertaken for the Scottish Executive Central Research Unit ( Kit Campbell Associates, 2001 ) reflects upon the broader impression of unfastened infinite, urging a typology that dichotomises ‘greenspaces ‘ and ‘civic infinite ‘ . This survey focuses on the subset of ‘civic infinite ‘ , turn toing the domain of urban infinite that serves a civic map.

Public infinite has become an of import urban be aftering tool in metropolis revival ( Madanipour, 1999 ) , peculiarly associated with the chase to build an attractive urban environment. This rethinking and turning concern for public infinite is farther related to the long-run ‘liveability ‘ of the urban environment ( Rogers, 1999 ) , in footings of making a sustainable urban landscape. CABE ( 2007 ) argue urban contrivers can “use infinite as a catalyst” ( p. 94 ) , as observed in Manchester ‘s usage of public infinite in the metropolis. From this it could be argued that there is about a revival of public infinite as a cardinal urban tool.

Urban policy in the UK presents a strong accent on urban design, complemented by an expressed dimension of public topographic point proviso:

“Well- designed and maintained public infinites should be at the bosom of any community. They are the foundation for public interaction and societal integrating, and supply the sense of topographic point indispensable to breed civic pride” ( DETR, 2005, p. 5 ) .

The infusion demonstrates the importance of public infinite and design to the authorities as portion of the urban Renaissance. This aspiration for urban design has instigated apparent alterations in urban policy discourse, which is now frequently centred on rules of civilization, art, well-being, sustainability and quality. The study emphasises the impression of ‘place-making ‘ , defined by CABE ( 2007 ) as “the procedure of developing a distinguishable individuality for a place” ( p. 107 ) . Harmonizing to Rogers ‘ ( 1999 ) Urban Task Force study, there is the demand to “create beautiful places” ( p. 47 ) , manifested in the outgrowth of several new and exciting signifiers of public infinite documented in their studies.

2.2.1 The populace square

The public square is a designated country of public infinite, specified in Carr ‘s ( 1992 ) typology as one of the nucleus signifiers of public infinite. CABE ( 2007 ) refer public squares as a type of civic infinite, specifically “hard surface countries designed for pedestrians” ( p. 12 ) . The public square has been a longstanding tool in urban planning ( Unwin, 1909 ) ; as portion of the urban Renaissance, the public square excessively is returning to the modern-day urban regeneration rhetoric. Harmonizing to Moughtin ( 2003 ) , “one of the most of import elements of metropolis design is the square” ( p. 87 ) and the peculiarity of a designated ‘square ‘ offers a rule focal point for the metropolis. Moughtin ( 2003 ) appoints it as critical tool for heightening the cityscape and provides character to the urban cloth. Similarly Lynch ( 1961 ) construes the square as a distinguishable and memorable site that reflects on the metropolis as a whole, underscoring its significance to the wider metropolis.

Rogers ‘ ( 1999 ) Urban Task Force study postulates that whilst the public square signifiers portion of the broader public infinite, it besides serves a intent with its owns set of maps. Rogers farther asserts that this type of public infinite should stand for:

“somewhere to loosen up, and bask the urban experience, a locale for a scope of different activities, from out-of-door eating to street amusement ; from athletics and play countries to a locale for civic or political maps ; and most significantly of all a topographic point for walking or sitting-out” ( Rogers, 1999, p. 57 ) .

Moughtin ( 2003 ) extends the maps of the public square to embrace its usage as a site for civic edifices, meeting topographic points, ceremonials, amusement, shopping, residential countries and as an urban traffic junction. Rogers ( 1999 ) and Moughtin ( 2003 ) concur purpose and activities are critical to maintain the square alive. Often these maps overlap and some dominate the usage of the urban square. However small research was identified on how these activities are really consumed in the square or within the broader public infinite.

2.3 The design and production of urban public infinite

Harmonizing to CABE ( 2007 ) there are four phases of public infinite policy ; each component holds relevancy to the planning, bringing, ingestion and analysis of public infinite. Although it pursues a additive theoretical account, all degrees must be considered at the start of the undertaking. A important phase that should be deliberated throughout is the ‘use ‘ , since “all the designing and care attempts are expended basically for the benefit of the terminal user” ( Chua and Edwards, 1992, p. 3 ) . Chua and Edwards farther note that “conceptually, all public infinites are designed, bearing the imprint of human intervention” ( p. 3 ) . They emphasise the demand for the design and direction of the public infinite rhetoric, farther stressed in a study for CABE and DETR ( 2001 ) , asseverating “good urban design adds value” ( p.8 ) . CABE ( 2007 ) further note the importance of design quality in footings of sustainability, handiness, inclusivity, character and hardiness. Further contending that good design in public infinite should work good in the present twenty-four hours and in the hereafter. Lynch ‘s ( 1961 ) survey on American metropoliss relates the importance of quality in relation to constructing an image of the metropolis, linked with how users read and perceive the landscape. Similarly, CABE ( 2007 ) assert that public infinite should be ‘legible ‘ in footings of “the ability of a topographic point to be easy understood by its users, and easiness to happen one ‘s manner about and how to utilize it” ( p. 107 ) .

As a consequence of their strong design input, public infinite is frequently associated with being a site of public image and show, incarnating Hughes ‘ ( 1999 ) construct of “imagineering” ( p. 1 ) . Often image and aesthetics can go over-prioritised in the design. Following this, Carr ( 1992 ) notes how “designers and clients may easy confound their desire to do a strong ocular statement with good design” ( p. 18 ) . The coveted image and representation of public infinite is frequently an unspecified purpose of urban policy. Overstating image and aesthetics can take to the “the dangers of making an ‘architectural menagerie ‘ , instead than urban topographic points in which human existences might live” ( Greed and Roberts, 1998, p. 12 ) . Consequently there is contention environing the bringing of public infinite: how it is contextualised by political, societal and cultural issues ( Goheen, 1998 ) and how symbols and significances are attached ( Zukin, 1995 ) . A figure of these public infinite arguments arise in the literature: offense and safety ( Oc and Tiesdell, 1997 ) , patroling and CCTV ( Cummings, 1999 ) , conveyance ( Jefferson, 1996 ) denationalization and user struggle ( Zukin, 1995 ) or retail and ingestion ( Biddulph, 1993 ) . Conflict and infinite is good documented but with excessively much literary focal point on symbols and political relations ( Turok, 1999 ) , instead than the existent significance of urban policy and the public kingdom.

2.4 Urban public infinite and public ingestion

Public infinite is endowed with assorted beginnings of ingestion, therefore it should be of import to understand the forms of ingestion within public infinites. CABE ( 2007 ) contend, “For a undertaking to be successful it is of import to cognize how people move between other spaces” ( p. 12 ) ; nevertheless associated empirical research is limited. Gehl ( 1996 ) refers to the relationship between the public and public infinite in footings of activities. He divides spacial activities into three classs: necessary activities ( mundane life ) , optional activities ( walking and leisure ) and societal activities ( interacting with others ) . Based on Copenhagen, Gehl draws on the relationship between activity frequence and the quality of the urban environment. When the quality of the urban environment is high, optional activities addition as the infinite becomes more inviting. Similarly societal activities rise with quality, whereas necessary activities remain at a similar degree irrespective. To summarize, successful public infinite encourages the ingestion of optional and societal activities ( Gehl, 1996 ) . Similarly Goheen ( 1998 ) stresses the importance of quality within urban public infinite, peculiarly observing that public infinite can merely be understood through “the usage and enjoyment of public space” ( p. 493 ) . This underlines the importance of public perceptual experience and the duty to run into the demands and demands of the populace.

Table 2.4.1 Relationship between the quality of public infinite and the user activities

Beginning: Translated and adapted from Gehl ( 1996, p. 19 ) .

The lone public-based surveies identified are those undertaken by Whtye ( 1980 ) in New York and by GEHL Architects ( urban quality advisers ) for a scope of metropolis councils: Copenhagen ( 1996 ) , Adelaide ( 2002 ) , London ( 2004 ) and Brighton and Hove ( 2007 ) . Gehl employs traditional experimental steps including people counts and behavioral function to analyze ‘public life ‘ in the metropolis ‘s infinite, which will be adapted for the research of this survey. Whyte ‘s earlier survey employs similar techniques of observation utilizing time-lapse cameras to supervise day-to-day use forms within New York ‘s place. He finds that the most frequent users are immature office workers and that high quality infinite is reflected in more usage by adult females and groups.

2.5 Urban public infinite and public engagement

An importance dimension of the public infinite construct is the relationship it holds with the populace ; “people need space” ( Thompson, 1998, p. 108 ) and, to be functional, infinite demands people. Harmonizing to Goheen ( 1998 ) , understanding the public kingdom is indispensable to understanding public infinite. Furthermore if the public infinite is to reflect the involvements of the populace, so the populace should be involved in the design ( Skeffington, 1969 ) . As Rogers ( 1999 ) notes, “public infinites work best when they set up a direct relationship between the infinite and the people who live and work about it” ( p. 57 ) . As portion of the phases of urban infinite renovation, CABE ( 2007, p. 98 ) province to “identify, consult and affect people” at the readying degree. This is critical since people are the terminal users of the infinite. The value of public engagement in urban design is widely appreciated ( Geddes, 1905 ; Skeffington, 1969 ; Moughtin, 1992 ; Winter et al. , 1993 ; Colqhoun, 1994 ; Thompson, 1998 ; Greed and Roberts, 1998 ) .

Engagement is an of import dimension of urban planning and has become a societal outlook of the populace ( Collins and Ison, 2006 ) . Engagement in this context can be defined as “the battle of ‘local people ‘ in decision-making about the services and constructions which affect their day-to-day lives” ( Dinham, 2005, p. 301 ) . Geddes ( 1905 ) argues that metropoliss undergoing renovation should affect each citizen as it has a direct impact on their lives. Arnstein ( 1969 ) develops a typology of public engagement in urban planning based on observations of urban reclamation in the United States ( see ) . The lowest degree is non-participation where the populace are invited to merely back up the programs as a replacement to active engagement. The 2nd degree is tokenism, where the informed community have the chance to voice their sentiments. Higher up the ladder are degrees of citizen power where the public holds changing grades of duty in the determination devising procedure. This became important following the work of the SEU ( 2005 ) taking to set “communities in the drive seat” ( p. 5 )

Table 2.5.1 Arnstein ‘s ladder of citizen engagement


Citizen control


Delegated power

Degrees of citizen power







Degrees of tokenism








Beginning: Arnstein ( 1969 )

However Arnstein ‘s ( 1969 ) theoretical account is extremely simplified and has faced much review ( Burns et al. , 1994 ) . Furthermore, high degrees of citizen power are non ever accomplishable or appropriate ; as Dinham ( 2005 ) suggests, small is understood about how this works in pattern. Other theoretical accounts have since emerged such as Burns et Al. ‘s ( 1994 ) individual ladder of citizen authorization. The most important measure since Arnstein is Davidson ‘s ( 1998 ) ‘wheel of engagement ‘ , consisting information, audience, engagement and authorization. Rather than a additive ‘ladder ‘ , the wheel is more holistic to better community engagement technique. Each theoretical account provides a utile model for measuring public engagement in urban renovation policy. Moughtin ( 1992 ) in peculiar draws on Arnstein ‘s work controversy that the populace is cardinal to the survey of urban design, and that active public engagement is extremely of import. Much of the literature is extremely theoretical ; no surveies could be found that really research how the public participate in the planning and production of public infinite.

2.6 Decision

The policy context for the ‘urban Renaissance ‘ suggests metropoliss should revitalize their urban environment through urban regeneration policy, peculiar policy that that improves public infinite proviso. The literature demonstrates how the production of public infinite has emerged as a new policy tool to better the urban environment, with an implicit in thrust for the image and design of the metropolis. However, beyond these factors, there appears to be small covering the relationship between public infinite and the populace. The materiality of public squares can frequently dissemble the rules behind its production by concentrating the oculus on its aesthetic representation, instead than the existent grounds underpinning its production. Furthermore it has been identified that public infinite research tends to concentrate chiefly on the urban planning discourse from the policy position, instead than the societal position. It seems the capacity of the populace to voice their thoughts and perceptual experience is on a regular basis constrained in the dianoetic field. This survey proposes to aim the rhetoric of public perceptual experience, a dimension that is advocated ( Lynch, 1961 ; Moughtin, 2003 ) , but frequently overlooked.

Z. Avery Chapter three: methodological model

Chapter 3: Methodological model and research design

This chapter explains and justifies the research methods employed, sketching the conceptual model to the research design. Full inside informations of the informations aggregation processs are provided, together with the methodological restrictions and ethical considerations environing each method of research.

3.1 Research design

Having established the theoretical model within the context of the preceding literature, this chapter will sketch the research methods employed as the foundation for analysis in the undermentioned chapter. The study acknowledges Lees ‘ ( 2004 ) averment that research workers of urban geographics should critically discourse methodological analysiss, therefore the methods of this survey are critically reflected upon in this subdivision. Furthermore, as postulated by Alvesson and Skoldberg ( 2000 ) , research workers attach epistemic, ontological and theoretical premises to their informations aggregation and analysis. The premises associated within the context of this survey will be identified in this chapter.

The overall research design adapts Yeung ‘s ( 1997 ) theoretical account of methodological triangulation, which “can do much to better the cogency and dependability of informations collected” ( p. 64 ) . The many-sided methodological model is employed to turn to the purposes and aims presented in Chapter 1, to analyze the apprehension and deductions of public infinite among the assorted histrions and users. The aggregation of primary informations is an indispensable component of the research, to ease a just reading of public perceptual experience and to capture an nonsubjective analysis of the impact of public infinite. The three nucleus methods are farther supplemented by the literature reappraisal and discourse analysis of the limited policy paperss on the undertaking. The research combines qualitative and quantitative methods because it was thought that this would incarnate a more holistic attack for analyzing the urban landscape.

Beginning: Writer ‘s ain

3.2 Research constituents

3.2.1 Participant observation

Observation is a signifier of qualitative informations aggregation where the research worker is immersed into the field, undertaking field notes on ascertained activities and behavior ( Bryman, 2008 ) . Creswell ( 2003 ) commends its research value in obtaining information firsthand as it is revealed, which is pertinent to this survey for detecting cross-sectional ingestion and behavioral forms in loco. This enables the research worker to place what the mark group really do instead than what they say they do ( Bryman, 2008 ) , which will be interesting to reflect on when contrasted with the response to the questionnaire studies. Pulling on observations, the survey seeks to accomplish a deeper apprehension of the significances and context of public infinite.

This was the first method undertaken in order to detect the infinite without any prepossessions or prejudice that could be unwittingly perceived from the interviews or questionnaire studies. The on-site observation was conducted within the Guildhall Square, around the on-going building work, as the square is still unfastened to prosaic traffic. Field notes were conducted during good conditions on Thursday 18th and Saturday 20th February, obtaining informations on both weekdays and weekends. Pedestrian counts were conducted every hr between the hours of 08:00 and 18:00 on Thursday 11th and Saturday 13th February. The flow of people through the cross-section was noted on the hr for 15 proceedingss and calculated to find prosaic flow per minute. Fieldwork techniques were adopted from Gehl and Gemzoe ( 1996 ) to construe the infinite and environing characteristics, using studies and descriptions of users and their behavior ( Appendix B )

Yin ( 2009 ) remarks on reflexiveness as a failing of experimental research, since the research worker ‘s presence in the field may falsify natural behavioral forms. Furthermore, the research worker may subconsciously note on some observations more than others, ensuing in changing grades of selectivity ( Yin ) . Consequently, efforts were made to be non-invasive and discreet when entering field notes and observations endeavoured to restrict selectivity.

3.2.2 Questionnaire studies

The questionnaire study is “an indispensable tool when primary informations is required about people, their behavior, attitudes and sentiments and their consciousness of specific issues” ( Parfitt, 2005, p. 78 ) . As a agency of public question, this method emphasised quantification of informations aggregation, bring forthing empirical informations for descriptive and statistical analysis. A pilot study of eight respondents was undertaken in the initial phases utilizing the drafted questionnaire to obtain preliminary research on the comprehension and suitableness of the inquiries ( Appendix C ) . Appropriate amendments were made to cut down response mistakes and maximize the response rate, farther bettering the efficiency and effectivity of the concluding information aggregation.

The bulk of study inquiries were closed to the quantitative nature of this method, nevertheless several were left slightly unfastened to let a certain grade of more expressive replies. The concluding questionnaire study ( Appendix C ) was self-administered to the populace within the square, across Thursday 11th, Saturday 13th, Thursday 18th and Saturday 20th February, from 09:00 to 17:00. Data was obtained at changing times of twenty-four hours, both during the hebdomad and at the weekend in order to capture a wider demographic of respondents, following Chiesurah ‘s ( 2004 ) study on urban Parkss. The studies were conducted at random ignoring gender and age demographics ; nevertheless under-16s were non questioned due to ethical logical thinking. In entire, a random sample of 100 studies was collected in the Guildhall Square and inputted into SPSS for subsequent information analysis.

Prior to explicating the questionnaire, Parfitt ‘s ( 2005 ) work on study mistakes was taken into history in footings of possible prejudice in questionnaire design and answering choice. Careful consideration was taken with inquiry design, format, linguistic communication, length and the random sampling of respondent, to better dependability and cogency. However this does non avoid respondent prejudice, where respondents may reply to delight the research worker or if the inquiry misinterpreted ( Silverman, 2000 ) . Parfitt besides mentions ‘expectational mistake ‘ where the research worker makes premises when respondents offer obscure replies. These failings are peculiarly relevant to this survey ; efforts were made to supervise these restrictions during the informations aggregation and will be considered during the informations analysis.

3.2.3 Interviews

Interviews were conducted with key-informants for public policy, aiming those in higher direction functions in presenting the undertaking, as these individuals would be more knowing. To get interviews, Bradshaw and Stratford ‘s ( 2000 ) position was followed that “the better our background information and apprehension, the more certain we are about who we wish to interview” ( p. 70 ) . Following background research, the local council development squad was contacted by electronic mail, taking to an interview with the Project Team Leader who so offered contact inside informations of other council sources. During the observations the Construction Site Manager was approached in individual, following an interview farther contacts were made with other cardinal sources. The bulk of interviews were pursued through the ‘snow ball technique ‘ ( Kitchen and Tate, 2000 ) .

Table 3.2.1 Interview Summary

Beginning: Writer ‘s ain

A sum of six interviews were conducted with a scope of professionals associated with the undertaking, enduring between 14 and 34 proceedingss. To carry through the research aims and aims, an interview agenda of inquiries was drafted ( Appendix D ) following Dunn ‘s ( 2005 ) semi-structured interview technique. This directed responses to a certain grade, but allowed freedom to divert from the subject and pursue unforeseen issues. This left considerable range for enlargement from the interviewer and the interviewee on inquiries non prelisted ( Bryman, 2008 ) .

The purposes and context of the survey were outlined to the interviewee prior to the interview, followed by both parties subscribing an mandate signifier for the interview to be digitally recorded and written text to be used for the intents of the survey ( see Appendix C ) .Yin ( 1994 ) notes that interviewees may supply responses to fulfill the interviewer and that the research worker is frequently inclined to construe responses to carry through their ain aims. There is besides the issue of trust between the interviewee and the research worker sing the extent and deepness of the information offered ( Bryman, 2008 ) . To turn to this interviewee permission was acquired as antecedently mentioned. Further ethical consideration involved showing interview transcript as anon. where requested and digital recordings were stored suitably and removed from the digital recording equipment following written text.

3.3 Research restrictions and premises

Sing the methodological triangulation of the research model, there are several restrictions environing the speculation in its application. Firstly it makes the premise that different signifiers of informations are complementary, doing associations between quantitative and qualitative informations, which Yeung ( 1997 ) and Bryman ( 2008 ) assert can be debatable. Second as Yeung asserts, there has been small application of this methodological model in human geographics research. This survey aims to prosecute this ignored methodological attack with success, but steadfastly acknowledges the restrictions in its application.

In footings of the findings, the survey acknowledges that the state of affairs of cognition is formed by analytical ‘ways of seeing ‘ ( Rose, 1997 ) , therefore the production of cognition is contingent on the relationship between the research worker and the research. Similarly, the survey recognises Limb and Dwyer ‘s ( 2001 ) perceptual experiences on how the research worker ‘s societal, political and economic experiences together with single individuality ( age, gender, category ) can act upon interaction with research topics. This is relevant to all three research methods, therefore researcher subjectiveness and the possible influence on the research have been considered.

The survey besides acknowledges that research is an reading of world, instead than a representation of world ( Alvesson and Skoldberg, 2000 ) . Therefore findings can merely stand as an reading of public infinite and public perceptual experience, functioning to develop cognition and apprehension in this field of research. When pulling findings from the research it must be further noted that even “interpretation does non take topographic point in a impersonal, unpolitical, ideology-free space” but “nor is an independent, value-free research worker responsible for it” ( Alvesson and Skoldberg, 2000, p. 12 ) . On the footing of these considerations, it is accepted that the research is instinctively capable to unpremeditated ideological influence.

3.4 Ethical considerations

Research moralss are the ethical rules and codifications research workers follow when doing determinations on acceptable pattern when set abouting any research undertaking ( Maunthner and Birch, 2002 ) . Ethical codifications are of import in order to protect research participants and furthermore to guarantee appropriate research pattern. In the preliminary phases of the survey research moralss were acknowledged and addressed, as detailed under each research method. In add-on an appraisal of personal considerations and hazards was undertaken with the aid of a supervisor ( Appendix A ) .

Z. Avery Chapter four: information analysis and treatment

Chapter 4: Datas analysis and research findings

This chapter presents the consequences of the informations aggregation, utilizing the antecedently discussed methodological model. The findings from the consequences are critically analysed within the context of the survey purposes and related back to the old literature on the topic. Restrictions and challenges of the research design are highlighted.

4.1 The production of the Guildhall Square

The literature reappraisal identified a revival of involvement in public infinite by policy shapers ( DETR, 2000 ; Moughtin, 2003 ; CABE, 2007 ) , which fits with the feedback from the interviewees. For illustration one Council worker remarked that public infinite is “definitely considered a high precedence on the docket for the revival of the city” ( interview # 2 ) . It was understood that the motive behind the renovation of the square is “regeneration in a truly down area” ( interview # 1 ) , which is decidedly reflected in the ill maintained local cityscape. This supports old work on public infinite as portion of the wider regeneration agenda ( Madanipour, 1999 ; CABE, 2007 ) .

It is hoped that the square “will go a focal point of involvement every bit good as a landmark attractive force, cementing local pride and raising the metropolis ‘s profile” ( interview # 6 ) . The subject of the Guildhall Square as a focal point for the metropolis was recurrent in the set of interviews, reenforcing Moughtin ‘s ( 2003 ) work on the civic square as a centerpiece for the metropolis. Similarly the consequences give grounds to Unwin ‘s ( 1909 ) theory that urban design requires unequivocal Centres, which the metropolis aims to accomplish through the square ‘s renovation. This farther echoes CABE ‘s ( 2007 ) apprehension of “space as a catalyst” ( p. 94 ) , as the square is the get downing point for ocular success in the wider metropolis Centre. The challenge for Southampton is to come on from its repute as a “non-place” ( interview # 1 ) through the procedure of ‘place-making ‘ ( CABE, 2007 ) . The purpose is to making a infinite that “develops a sense of civic pride” ( interview # 6 ) , capturing Lynch ‘s ( 1982 ) ‘sense of topographic point ‘ by developing an environment that connects with persons and the corporate community.

4.2 Public ingestion of the Guildhall square

4.2.1 Public motion in the square

The first set of experimental consequences reveals walkers flow through the square. On weekdays low extremums are noted at 08:00 and 17:00, most likely attributable to local employees go throughing through to and from work. Usage so extremums between 13:00 and 14:00, revealed to be local employees on their tiffin interruptions from talking with questionnaire respondents during this clip frame. The research reinforces Whyte ‘s ( 1980 ) claim that immature office workers constitute a important proportion of users. In conformity with Gehl ( 1996 ) these types of users are necessary users, utilizing the infinite for indispensable intents. In this instance the infinite is often used as a go throughing path to entree their topographic point of work, to travel for tiffin or to return place.

Figure 4.2.1 Pedestrian traffic flow through the Guildhall Square

The information besides reveals a 23.75 % lessening in users at the weekend compared to the weekdays, but the form is similar apart from the ‘professional extremums ‘ , as there are fewer workers over the weekend. The usage rises from 11:00 throughout the twenty-four hours, and easy diminutions after 16:00, perchance due to the closing of the high street retail mercantile establishments shortly after this clip and the subsequent going of shoppers from the metropolis Centre. By generalizing the information to find the entire prosaic flow for each hr, a sum of 3856 and 2940 walkers theoretically pass through the infinite between 08:00 and 18:00 on the weekday and weekend severally, given the observations on these peculiar yearss. Thus a big figure of people are associated with this infinite on a day-to-day footing.

4.2.2 Public behavior in the square

Figure 4.2.2 below shows the result of the efforts to map user behavior in the square by following 10 people come ining the square and tracking their way at three different times of twenty-four hours. The experimental function identifies perennial behavioral forms of those utilizing the square. The bulk of the sample walked straight across the square through the square as if there were a consecutive way across ; this is most likely attributable to the intent of the persons merely taking to acquire from A to B via the square. It was noted that many persons turned to study the building country showing inquisitiveness towards edifice activity. The afternoon observation shows the most interesting forms perchance due to the hastiness of workers go throughing through at 0900, but the bulk still follow the same common way. The observations do non supply influential illation, but do offer an penetration into the general form of use in the Guildhall Square.

Notes from the field journal were collated to roll up a diurnal timetable of observations. The ascertained usage denseness corresponds good with the prosaic counts as the degree of tenancy starts comparatively high, falls, so peaks in the afternoon and later falls once more. From this and the prosaic counts, the peak use of the square is between 12:00 and 14:00. As for the composing of users, occupants are the most outstanding age group, with workers looking around the start and stopping point of concern. The chief intent of people in the square is to go through through ; this is due to the uninviting nature of the square. Obviously the countries of building within the square do non help in pulling users, but the general visual aspect of the square is hapless and uninviting. The pavement is ill maintained and there is no public seating, it was observed that several people used the environing walls as ‘secondary seating ‘ ( Gehl Architects, 2004 ) . While there is a cafe in the square it is perceptibly underused in comparing to the metropolis ‘s other coffeehouse, including the cafe inside the Guildhall edifice, which can merely be explained by the uninviting environing urban cloth.

Table 4.2.1 Observed behavioral form of users in the square

Based on experimental notes in field journal, Thursday 18th February 2010

4.3 The public perceptual experiences of the public infinite

4.3.1 Respondent Profile

A sum of 100 members of the populace were questioned about public infinite and the Guildhall square renovation in Southampton metropolis Centre. The descriptive sum-up of the respondent profile from the sample is displayed in The day of the month high spots 24-44 as the most common age group ; this could intend this group use the square more often or that it is over-represented. As the study was a sample of the populace, it was decided to burden the informations by age to take into history of age derived function which were considered most important in these informations. In all, the bulk reside in Southampton ( 51 % ) , followed by 27 % from the metropolis Centre, 15 % from Hampshire County and merely 7 % category as visitants. Across all those questioned, transport methods were equally dispersed between walking, public conveyance and a somewhat higher use of private vehicles.

Table 4.3.1Frequency sum-ups of respondent profile

The findings show that by and large presence in the square increases with age, apart from the 24-44 scope. The taking residents of the square tantrum the economically active age scope, co-occuring with study remarks that respondents were heading to or from work in local offices or on a tiffin interruption at the peak times of use. This supports Whyte ‘s ( 1980 ) findings in New York ‘s public squares, placing high use by office workers. However Whyte besides concludes adult females are besides premier users, which is contradicted by 3:2 gender ratio in this survey. Another interesting discovery is that the bulk of users sampled were from the local country, connoting the square is non seen as a strong visitant attractive force and chiefly used by local occupants. The Council purpose to turn to this by utilizing the metropolis ‘s sail industry riders as possible visitants to the square:

“It ‘s about go a non-place because of the fact that it ‘s a gateway to travel through. Well, we want to observe the fact it ‘s a gateway, so people coming from all over will see Southampton to bask the metropolis and this infinite, before they go elsewhere” ( interview # 1 ) .

4.3.2 Perceived public use of the metropolis and the square

The populace were asked to asses how often they visit the metropolis Centre, base on balls through the square and see the square to utilize and bask the infinite ( before the building commenced ) . The responses in Figure 4.3.1 show that the public visit the metropolis centre on a regular basis with 64 % sing hebdomadal. The frequence of go throughing through the square provides similar consequences, with 60 % go throughing through on a hebdomadal footing. In footings of sing the square strictly for the usage of the square, the responses are skewed towards the lower frequences ; 92 % declared they really seldom use the square strictly for its map as a public infinite.

The square is chiefly used as an ‘urban traffic junction ‘ for walkers ( Moughtin, 2003 ) as the infinite is on a regular basis used by go throughing walkers, likewise observed in the prosaic flow counts ( Figure 4.2.1 ) . This demonstrates its importance as a cardinal junction for prosaic flow, but means the square itself is non acknowledged as a public infinite to pass clip in. This is attributable to the hapless quality of the country, extinguishing any desire to pass more clip at that place than necessary. The current infinite fails to accomplish the Urban Task Force ‘s ( 1999 ) feeling of public infinite as “somewhere to loosen up, and bask the urban experience” ( p. 57 ) . This is chiefly attributable to the deficiency of intent and associated activities that are critical to keep regular usage of the infinite ( Rogers, 1999 ; Moughtin, 2003 ) .

Following Gehl ‘s ( 1996 ) categorization, types of user and user activities were recorded for each respondent. Of the sample, 59 % were sing for ingestion intents: chiefly shopping or utilizing the library ; 27 % were mundane users, chiefly for the intent of acquiring to or from work. Very few use the infinite as visitants to events or for diversion. In footings of the categorical intent for their visit, a 68 % bulk asserted their trip as ‘necessary ‘ either for work or a planned shopping trip. For optional and societal intents the response was low at 18 % and 14 % severally. The crosstabulation between the two variables identified that the ‘every twenty-four hours users ‘ and ‘customers ‘ of the infinite both tend to hold necessary intents. Chi-square testing was employed to denote the grade of assurance in the association ; the result asserts a strong association between the two variables ( p-value of 0.000 ) , proposing strong proof for the aforesaid links between type of user and their activities in the square.

Table 4.3.2 Crosstabulation of user type and user activity

Recreational and event visitants, though few in figure were utilizing the infinite for optional or societal activity. Optional activities require value opinions on whether to pass clip in that infinite ; Gehl ‘s ( 1996 ) theory provinces optional activities are high where there is high quality of infinite. The low proportion of these activities reflects low spacial quality. The preponderantly necessary usage of the infinite is besides associated with the hapless site quality, acknowledged by the City Council, denoting the infinite as a “pretty depressed site” ( interview # 1 ) . The purpose of renovation is to transform the infinite into “a topographic point to be unfastened for people to travel and experience as though they can bask themselves” ( interview # 1 ) . Similarly the enjoyment of public infinite is to a great extent prioritised by Urban Task Force ( Rogers, 1999 ) and advocated by Goheen ( 1998 ) . When the infinite is complete, the degree of enjoyment and quality of the infinite will be manifested in the volume optional activities in the country.

4.3.3 The importance of public infinite to the populace

As expected there was an overall consensus that public infinite is of import ; Thompson ( 1998 ) asserts that “people need space” ( p. 108 ) and it is therefore an built-in portion of their mundane life. After recoding the responses to the importance of infinite into ‘yes ‘ and ‘no ‘ to cut down the scope of informations, it was identified that 95 % considered public infinite proviso as of import and merely 5 % felt it was n’t of import. There was no recognized form to those that felt indifferent, merely that this 5 % by and large felt Southampton did n’t necessitate more public infinite, but interestingly all concurred that the renovation is a good investing for the metropolis. Whilst they assert the investing could be good for the metropolis, these respondents either believe the money should be invested in other countries or do non see public infinite proviso as a precedence.

Looking more closely at the demand for public infinite, 82 % feel positively towards more public infinite proviso in Southampton, likewise 72 % agree that the proviso of a public square would hold a positive influence on the frequence of visits to the metropolis Centre. Merely 18 % maintain that a public square would hold no influence on their visiting frequences. On reexamining the information, this minority comprised of either local occupants sing the metropolis for necessary intents or visitants for societal intents and therefore do non experience the demand for improved public infinite due to their necessary or infrequent use.

Table 4.3.3 Frequency sum-ups of the importance of public infinite

Responses to the unfastened inquiry on public infinite importance is presented in ( Table 4.3.4 ) , slackly categorised into subjects with the harmonizing per centum of responses per subject. Social value and aesthetic value are extremely recognised by those sampled, with repeating remarks on the significance of unfastened infinite for socializing and bettering ocular quality. The high aesthetic value reiterates the work of DETR ( 2005 ) , underscoring the significance of ‘design excellence ‘ in how infinite is organised and managed. In contrast CABE and DETR ( 2001 ) besides extremely prioritize the economic value of public infinite. However, both the sample and the Council are less concerned with this factor, cited by merely 6 % of respondents. Correspondingly, the council note that the undertaking is “initially led by civilization as opposed to being lead by the economic” ( interview # 1 ) . Furthermore, it seemed the respondents did non tie in the surrounding edifices and planned activities with the square itself, which Moughtin ( 2003 ) considers to be extremely of import. However the negative response was really low at 4 % , chiefly associated with the contention over Council outgo where respondents felt budgets could be better invested in other countries.

Table 4.3.4 Respondent feedback on the importance of public infinite

4.3.4 Public consciousness and engagement

Merely 11 % of the populace were to the full cognizant of the renovation programs and merely 26 % knew a small about the programs. On the other side, 68 % were either non truly cognizant or wholly uninformed. The importance of public consciousness is strongly advocated in the literature ( Skeffington, 1969 ; Colqhoun, 1994 ; Greed and Roberts, 1998 ) ; nevertheless this undertaking disregards the value of public cognition. Chi-square statistical analysis was applied to the informations to prove the association between consciousness of the square and a scope of respondent features ( Table 4.3.5 ) . The results indicate that the lone variables stand foring a high grade of association with consciousness are age and country of abode. The minority that were really cognizant of the programs were by and large aged between 25 and 65 old ages ; nevertheless, no farther correlativity could be identified in the crosstabulation with age. Surprisingly, 73 % of those completely unaware of the programs were from the City Centre or Southampton. This was unexpected since the Council asserted they issued information battalions to local occupants: either the receivers failed to analyze the information, failed to retrieve having it or did non have a transcript. The Council did acknowledge in response to community consciousness that “there will likely be some confusion” ( interview # 1 ) due to their hesitance to convey the programs following support backdown from SEEDA. Furthermore, the Developers confessed “the information marks in the square have been put up really late” ( interview # 5 ) , adding to the deficiency of cognition amongst the populace.

Table 4.3.5 Chi-square testing of consciousness of the square renovation with answering characteristic variables

Degrees of engagement are reported in Table 4.3.6. A bulk of all 80 % felt they did non hold any engagement with the direction of the square. The staying proportion comprises those that could non notice, with merely 1 % feeling involved in the policy. In footings of how the undertaking has been communicated, 60 % contend that they were non informed in any manner. The Council advised that an exhibition was held in the summer with theoretical accounts of the proposals ( interview # 2 ) , nevertheless this was merely viewed or recalled by a little proportion of the sample. Given the high use of this infinite on a regular footing, the deficiency of community engagement raises of import policy and research issues on engagement. The undertaking challenges the work of the Urban Task Force ; Rogers ‘ ( 1999 ) study asserts: “public infinites work best when they set up a direct relationship between the infinite and the people who live and work about it” ( p. 57 ) . Either the Council believes they can accomplish successful public infinite without community engagement or the undertaking is put on the lining possible success by neglecting to affect the local community.

Table 4.3.6Crosstabulation of engagement and feelings of engagement

The importance of public engagement in regeneration and urban design is widely acknowledged by faculty members ( see Skeffington, 1969 ; Colqhoun, 1994 ; Greed and Roberts, 1998 ) . However, public engagement in this undertaking is limited, following Foley ‘s ( 2000 ) ‘top-down ‘ scheme for regeneration affecting minimal community engagement. In conformity with Arnstein ‘s ( 1969 ) typology of public engagement in planning, the populace of Southampton based on this sample are situated on the lowest degree of engagement, termed ‘non-participation ‘ . The council could reason there are some grades of ‘tokenism ‘ based on their averment that public audiences were held. However merely 1 % of the study was involved in the audience, doing the public passive in the design and bringing of the undertaking.

4.3.5 Puting the public back into public infinite?

The respondents were invited to propose what they think formulates good public infinite ( Table 4.3.7 ) . The strongest subjects were installations and activities, likewise raised by Rogers ( 1999 ) and Moughtin ( 2003 ) as the critical characteristics to maintain public infinite thriving. The respondents were acute to see attractive forces and amusement in the square, merely as the Council noted in the interviews. Other commonalties between the Council ‘s vision and the populace were the image and design of the square and the entree ; stressed by many that all age groups should be able to bask the new infinite. An interesting subject that emerged was the desire for ‘greenery ‘ and ‘green infinite ‘ ; many occupants noted how they appreciate the local Parkss and accordingly associated them with the square. The program for the Guildhall Square does non integrate high degrees of verdure, with merely a series of originative square trees. Since the populace are basically the end-users of public infinite, the square should reflect their involvements through public engagement ( Skeffington, 1969 ) . However, the undertaking contravenes this theory. It would be interesting to detect whether the council would hold incorporated this cognizing the demand for a natural public infinite. Despite the deficiency of community engagement, it seems the council have by and large addressed the demands of the corporate community comparatively good.

Table 4.3.7Respondent feedback on what makes good public infinite

Following this, respondents were asked to foretell their use of the square and its maps on a graduated table of 1 ( high ) to 5 ( low ) , presented in Table 4.3.8. A lower average represents frequent usage and a higher average signifies less involvement. Higher standard divergence represents a wider scope of responses, therefore maps with a low mean and low criterion divergence are potentially most successful. For the bulk of maps the mean is less than two, therefore respondents expect to utilize them on a regular basis. By and large standard divergence is low, bespeaking most responses are consistent with the mean. The highest standard divergence was for the usage as a meeting topographic point, intending there were more assorted responses to this map. A promising result for the Council is the possible success of the coffeehouse. An purpose of the renovation is to make a “European manner cafe culture” ( interview # 5 ) . Other potentially successful maps are merely as a meeting topographic point and seating country, termed by Gelh ( 1989 ) as “passivities” ( p. 15 ) , officially the premier intent of civic infinite before commercial attractive forces emerged. Less embraced maps are public events and cultural attractive forces, although with a mean of around 3 the mean respondent would utilize these attractive forces on juncture. The square itself received a comparatively high mean in comparing, connoting respondents expect to be sing the maps and activities in the square instead than sing the existent square itself. The public do non see the association between the square and the environing complementary activities. In contrast Gelh ( 1996 ) argues that public squares should feed off the environing constructions ; it is hoped when the undertaking is completed they will complement each other.

Table 4.3.8 Descriptive analysis of sensed use of the square and its maps

Chi-squared analysis was so applied to perceived use and a choice of respondent features to prove for the grade of association ( Table 4.3.9 ) . The low significance values suggest by and large perceived use does differ by factors of age, gender, country of abode and type of user. Further crosstabulation identifies that Southampton and City Centre occupants are more likely to utilize the square, retail mercantile establishments, public events and as a meeting topographic point. Conversely, the informations on non-local respondents is more dispersed, chiefly because they will non be given to utilize the infinite on a regular basis. An interesting determination is that the likeliness of sing for the intent of


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