Sociotope mapping: Exploring public open space and its multiple use values in urban and landscape planning practice
2006 (English)In: Nordic Journal of Architectural Research, ISSN 1102-5824, Vol. 19, no 4, 59-71 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This paper aims to describe the theoretical body of a new urban planning tool called the "sociotope map" (Swedish: sociotopkarta), developed within the planning practice of the Stockholm City Urban Planning Administration. Since the postmodern communicative turn in urban and landscape planning, dominated by densification and sprawl, there has been a great demand for a more efficient connection between the system world of planners and the life world of citizens, starting from the users’ space and perspective, not the planners’. In Lefebvre’s terms the sociotope map is a representation of the users’ perceived space. The key Marxist concept here is use value, or more accurately in environmental economic terms: direct use value. The Stockholm sociotope map is consequently a map of the commonly perceived direct open use values of specific open space, of the citizens of Stockholm. The map emphasizes that people share use values but that every open space has a unique set of values. Its representation of diversity of place (topos) is maybe just the level of reduction that makes the map true enough to the citizens and at the same time useful for the planners. This can explain its recent recognition in Stockholm and other fast growing municipalities in Sweden (e.g. Gothenburg 2004-2007 and Uppsala/Gottsunda 2006). However more experience and research still remain to completely understand this tool. The recent success can only be explained by the fact that there is a true demand. A society which is turning increasingly postmodern, globalized and individualized can hardly plan, develop or grow without knowledge of the common use values of urban public open space.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 19, no 4, 59-71 p.
public space, open space, urban planning, landscape design, use value
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-24485OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-24485DiVA: diva2:350403
QC 201009102010-09-102010-09-102010-09-13Bibliographically approved