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Research projects

Research project - Configuring and governing public space. Urban order, social life and crime prevention

About this project

Project information

Project status



Rolf Lidskog

Research subject

This project focuses on the configuration and regulation of public space in the city. The aim of the project is to study different understandings and practises of what constitutes public space and its functions. By analysing explicit and implicit assumptions and normative notions that underpinnes the view of public space, it will be possible to reconstruct how issues of safety and public fear is dealt with, what kind of activities and uses of the public space it promotes, and what kind it opposes. Thus, it is possible to analyse what kind of social life it is aimed for and what kind of social conduct is seen as appropriate.

The project is a comparative case study, where a small number of cases will be analysed and systematically compared. The empirical material consists primarily of written material such as plan documents, programmes for city development, programmes for crime prevention and trust-creation and permission (or non-permission) for using CCTV at specific places. Besides that, interviews will be made of planners, politicians and other categories that have been involved in cases studied. Methods for analysing the empirical material are argumentation theory and discourse analysis, methods that are apt for analysing underlying assumption and value in written and oral statements.