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Thread: Considering cultural diversity in active transportation/recreation planning

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Considering cultural diversity in active transportation/recreation planning

    Hello, as I was considering proposing to study how planners might consider the needs, perceptions, beliefs, attitudes, etc. of different cultural and economic groups in the context of active transportation/recreation planning, I was wondering:

    1. has anybody seen any work done in this area?
    2. do you think it is an important and viable to study in urban areas?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I am not aware of any efforts being made in this area currently. However, considering the changing demographics in major Canadian centres, I think that this area of study should be considered extremely important - particularly for Active Transportation.

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    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by sneakers View post
    Hello, as I was considering proposing to study how planners might consider the needs, perceptions, beliefs, attitudes, etc. of different cultural and economic groups in the context of active transportation/recreation planning, I was wondering:

    1. has anybody seen any work done in this area?
    2. do you think it is an important and viable to study in urban areas?

    Thanks!
    Gobster, P.H.. 2001. Visions of nature: conflict and compatibility in urban park restoration. Landscape and Urban Planning 56:1-2 pp. 35-51.

    Decent outline of our understanding of how different cultural groups use parks and the amenities they seek.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    Gobster, P.H.. 2001. Visions of nature: conflict and compatibility in urban park restoration. Landscape and Urban Planning 56:1-2 pp. 35-51.
    Just stumbled on this article looking for something else:
    Goličnika and Thompson 2009 Emerging relationships between design and use of urban park spaces. Landscape and Urban Planning 94:1 pp 54-62 doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2009.07.016
    Free preview on-line for an unknown duration.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    This all also makes me think of Henri LeFebvre and his book The Production of Space. The problem is understanding it!

    "(Social) space is a (social) product [...] the space thus produced also serves as a tool of thought and of action [...] in addition to being a means of production it is also a means of control, and hence of domination, of power."
    ????

    But he does touch on how different groups within a society access and utilize space and also how those that control society manage access to and use patterns within that space. I think, if one can translate from this heady theory to practical application, that it could inform issues of cultural patterning and social hierarchy in the design and use of particularly urban spaces. In America and Canada, culture serves as one of the primary markers for identifying people within the strata of society. Of course, this is an always changing dynamic, but certainly culture influences the manner by which we engage in the public realm. And similarly, it impacts how we view others' use of the public realm (as legitimate, sanctioned, problematic, etc.). I always think of the homeless with respect to this - they are a population that lives pretty much entirely in the public realm and yet they are generally unwanted in all public spaces. So, how does that need (to have a place to be) and the conflicting social ideals of "acceptable" or "legitimate" use of space get reconciled?

    Maybe not exactly what you are after, but its the first thing that comes to mind. I could see how local conflicts among cultural groups around recreation could follow a similar dynamic. Check out this article about a soccer team in Clarkston Georgia comprised of refugees and the conflicts their use of the town fields has caused with other local residents.

    But to many longtime residents, soccer is a sign of unwanted change, as unfamiliar and threatening as the hijabs worn by the Muslim women in town. It’s not football. It’s not baseball. The fields weren’t made for it. Mayor Swaney even has a name for the sort of folks who play the game: the soccer people.

    “There will be nothing but baseball down there as long as I am mayor,” Lee Swaney, a retired owner of a heating and air-conditioning business, told the local paper. “Those fields weren’t made for soccer.”
    This is exactly the kind of thing LeFebvre was talking about.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  6. #6
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Can you define "Active Transportation"? Being that I work 2 blocks from the Canadian Border I am ignorant of this term. Is this running or biking IN a park? If so, how is it transportation? (getting from point A to point B)?
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Sure detroit planner, the defintion, at least my defintiion, is any transportation that requires physical effort on the part of an individual, although some have also suggested that this includes public transportation as some level of physical effort is presumeably required to get to and from that mode...that is my take anyway

  8. #8
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    This all also makes me think of Henri LeFebvre and his book The Production of Space. The problem is understanding it!


    This is exactly the kind of thing LeFebvre was talking about.
    I had a fellow student working on his dissertation about 'socially constructed space' who would bring up LeFebvre fairly often. Surely this topic falls under that ægis, as would the feminist inquiries into gendered space.

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