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Making Sense of the City: Place, Space, and Rhetoric in Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square
Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies (2008)
  • erin daina mcclellan, Denison University
Abstract
Public squares have historically functioned as the core of salient public communicative exchange and played host to collective gatherings for a wide variety of people and purposes. More recently public squares have played a central part in urban revitalization projects as attempts to address often absent public "commons" for public engagement about communal, political, and social life. Many city centers have experienced a rebirth, with increases in the number of residents moving to (or back to) downtown areas. Studying how people make sense of the city as a particular place and/or space is more important than ever for city officials, architects, landscape designers, planners, and urban critics as they make decisions that affect the ways in which we experience a city on an everyday basis. The official rhetoric of city planning, for example, can be inclusive and more widely applicable if it incorporates its varied population's preferences for use and/or accessibility in addition to its planning goals. In renovating a dysfunctional public square, understanding which people use a city's public squares and for what purposes can lead to new design ideas that encourage a more integrative environment for people to engage for both "official" and "unofficial" purposes.
Publication Date
March, 2008
Citation Information
erin daina mcclellan. "Making Sense of the City: Place, Space, and Rhetoric in Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square" Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies Vol. 4 Iss. 1 (2008) ISSN: 15572935
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/erin_mcclellan/1/