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Open spaces in informal settlements in Bangkok, Thailand and the potential role for landscape architects in their design and evolution

Waller, Megan (2017) Open spaces in informal settlements in Bangkok, Thailand and the potential role for landscape architects in their design and evolution. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract In response to the prevalence and predicted increase in slums in the global south UN Habitat are presently advocating a phased street and public space led upgrading approach. Such an approach indicates that the discipline of landscape architecture, based on its skills, knowledge and expertise, has the potential to contribute to these marginalised contexts through the planning and design of public spaces. At present however, a coherent body of literature regarding the physical space of urban informality is lacking, meaning that landscape architects lack comprehensive understanding of the variations, which occur in this urban phenomena and therefore ineffective intervention tools. The research aims then are firstly, to develop the limited literature that exists on the relationship between people and the physical space of informality; challenging debates surrounding the development, presence, form, role, use and the associated identity, meaning and significance of open spaces. Secondly, to establish if there is a role for landscape architects to contribute to these marginalised contexts and, if so, whether and how they might contribute to the planning, design and management of open spaces. Central to the approach was ethnographic fieldwork in three informal settlements and two upgraded communities in Bangkok, Thailand. The settlements and identified public spaces were analysed using social science methods and those traditional to landscape architecture. The findings suggest that for successful intervention a landscape architects notion of what constitutes a ‘public’ ‘space’, along with notions and expectations of permanence and use may first have to be reconceived and understanding of the processes instigating place identity developed. Having questioned the relevance of applying dominant paradigms of landscape architectural theory and practice that have evolved the global north to the global south slum context, this thesis additionally proposes that the discipline may also require new ways of investigating, analysing and applying that knowledge.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Landscape (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.722761
Depositing User: miss megan waller
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2017 13:28
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:44
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/17689

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