Which public and whose space? The understanding of public space as an arena where individuals can claim full use and access hides a reality of constant negotiation, conflict and surveillance. This collection uses case studies concerning the management, use, and transgression of public space to invite reflection on the way in which everyday social interaction is framed and shaped by the physical environment and vice versa. International experts from fields including geography, criminology, sociology and urban studies come together to debate the concepts of order and conflict in public space.

This book is divided into two parts: spaces of control, and spaces of transgression. Section I focuses on formal and informal surveillance and the politics of control, using case studies to compare strategies in spaces including Olympic cities, luxury skyscrapers, residential neighbourhoods and shopping malls. Section II focuses on transgressive or deviant behaviour in public spaces, with case studies examining behaviour in nightlife districts, governance of homelessness, boy-racer culture and abortion protests. The epilogue concludes the book with an exploration of possible future avenues for research on public space, and a critical appraisal of the concept of public space itself.

This interdisciplinary collection will be of interest to students, researchers and professionals in the areas of criminology, sociology, surveillance studies, human and social geography, and urban studies and planning.

chapter 1|12 pages


ByMattias De Backer, Lucas Melgaço, Georgiana Varna, Francesca Menichelli

part I|109 pages

Spaces of control

chapter 2|22 pages

Normalising exceptional public space security

The spatial fix of the Olympic carceral
ByJon Coaffee

chapter 3|25 pages

Securitization and urban space

The case of a skyscraper in Mexico City
ByNelson Arteaga Botello

chapter 4|17 pages

The residential normalisation of public spaces

Towards a post-punitive regulation?
ByAntonin Margier

chapter 5|22 pages

Avoiding encounters with poverty

Aesthetics, politics and economics in a privileged neighbourhood of Cape Town
ByNick Schuermans, Manfred Spocter

chapter 6|21 pages

Caution, control and consumption

Defining acceptable conduct in the semi-public space of Czech shopping malls 1
ByPavel Pospěch

part II|83 pages

Spaces of transgression

chapter 7|15 pages

Reclaiming civility in urban nightlife districts

ByIlse van Liempt

chapter 8|20 pages

Dwelling without a home

Denver's splintered public spaces
BySig Langegger, Stephen Koester

chapter 9|22 pages

Boy racer culture and class conflict

Urban regeneration, social exclusion, and the rights of the road
ByKaren Lumsden

chapter 10|23 pages

Rethinking spaces, sites and encounters of conflict in twenty-first century Britain

The case of abortion protest in public space
ByLucy Jackson, Gill Valentine

part III|16 pages


chapter 12|5 pages

Diss and ditch?

What to do with public space
ByMyriam Houssay-Holzschuch