chapter
9 Pages

Fieldwork in public space assessment: William Holly Whyte and the Street Life Project 1970–1975

ByMiriam Fitzpatrick

This chapter outlines the twin roles of analysis and intuition in the assessment of public

space through an example of urban fieldwork. The territory for this ‘creative legwork’ is

the public spaces of Modernist Midtown Manhattan, much of which was built as a

result of 1961 zoning regulations. This fieldwork creatively adopted methods usually

used by other fields, and, through ‘legwork’, changed legislation and encouraged better

designs: ‘When architects and planners designed by intuition, Holly gave them facts’

(LaFarge 2000: vii; Goldberger 1999: 55)’.1