Public Spaces: On Their Production and Consumption

Authored by: Ronan Paddison

The Ashgate Research Companion to Planning and Culture

Print publication date:  September  2013
Online publication date:  March  2016

Print ISBN: 9781409422242
eBook ISBN: 9781315613390
Adobe ISBN: 9781317042167


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For the visitor a late evening stroll along the riverfront in Guangzhou might bring a surprise, the sight of dancing in a public space. The music, a live band, and the evident skill of the dancers might suggest that it is a commercially organized event taking advantage of the warmth of the summer evening and the availability of a suitable space. Yet, the scale of the performance – the size of the public space in which the dancing is taking place – suggest otherwise. Equally, the obvious enjoyment of the participants, their familiarity with one another, the extent to which partners are being alternated as the evening progresses, the conviviality of the scene suggest that this is far from being a commercially organized event. A regular occurrence, many of the dancers are from the local community, the performance being a way to give alternative, and enjoyable, expression to living in a Chinese mega-city with its attendant pressures.

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