Public Space in Informal Settlements : The Barrios of Bogota

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    • Abstract:
      Public Space in Informal Settlements: The Barrios of Bogotá contributes to the debate on informal settlements by viewing them as an opportunity to understand different ways of seeing and thinking about the city. Public spaces in informal settlements, like the housing stock, are to a large extent the product of local self-help and self-managed processes; however, the equivalent level of understanding has not been achieved, partly because such settlements are often seen as spare spaces with little value. Public spaces in informal settlements are public in terms of ownership and accessibility, but are communal in terms of use and attachment. They play an important role in the physical and social dynamics of the barrios, and have done since their inception; however, the improvement and consolidation of such spaces may not be realised for many years. The book will be of primary importance to architects, urban planners and researchers who are interested in the city in general, and in informal settlements in particular. The book will also be of interest to those in the humanities and social sciences who are concerned with politics and postcolonial studies, and to academics working in people–environment studies and in the relationship between people and place in terms of place self-building, place attachment and place identity. However, the volume will be of most interest for Latin Americanists who do not read Spanish or Portuguese, and would like to know more about the region, the problems and the views, from the perspective of an insider with extended knowledge of the field.
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