2013: Relational Space _ essay

This essay was submitted in Jan 2013 (M.Arch yr 2) as part of an elective architectural history and theory module entitled, “Rethinking Architecture.” This essay underpinned the conceptual approach taken in developing further the final thesis project, Performative Assemblages.


From territorial and fragmentary planning to spaces of multiplicity, simultaneity and possibility


Doreen Massey, in her seminal text, For Space, raises the question of, “whether, in a relational and globalised spatiality, ‘groundedness’, and the search for a situated ethics, must remain tied to notions of the local.  If places pose, in highly variable form, the question of our living together in the sense of juxtaposition (throwntogetherness), there is also the question of the negotiation of those, equally varied, wider relations within which they are constituted.”1

In this ‘globalised spatiality’, issues of local versus global are frequently discussed in terms of how the integrity and authenticity of place-identity can be maintained in the face of what appears to be an increasingly homogeneous, global force.  This is often a dichotomy between those on the ‘side’ of localism (read: traditionalist, parochial, small, closed, nimbyism, xenophobic, rural) against those on the ‘side’ of globalism (read: capitalist, liberal, speculative, open, large, connected, urban).  However, with the technological advances (in particular communication – telephone, internet, air travel etc) of the last 100+ years, it is almost impossible to avoid global influences, thus this is not a problem that can be ‘won’ by either side.

What needs to be recognised is that territories are flexible, elastic even, and that life is lived on an infinite number of scales – both spatial and temporal.  Henri Lefebvre, throughout his work, has explored concepts of local/global, rural/urban, and recognised that these issues as dichotomies is problematic in itself.  Rather, he posits a theory of nested scales (fig. 1) – of local, intermediate and global – whereby each scale is related to the others, and that all space is a simultaneity of temporal narratives which act to superimpose multiplicities of both spatial and temporal events.2

fig. 1. Related Scales Lefebvre’s diagram of nested scales, where g = global, m = mixed, p = private

fig. 1. Related Scales
Lefebvre’s diagram of nested scales, where g = global, m = mixed, p = private


This paper aims to explore, in a broad way, the concept of relational space and scale through a literature review of Lefebvre’s and other’s work on this question.  Firstly, through issues of territory – where local v. global tensions have revealed unequal power relations which are manifested in space and society.  Secondly, how through political fragmentation, and emphasis on exchange-value, space has been commodified leading to peripheralisation and uneven development.  Lastly, could Lefebvre’s concepts of scale and relatedness provide a basis for a unitary analysis and design of space.  Is there a way that, as architects and planners, we can use this understanding of multi-scalar relatedness to build in capacity for openness, togetherness, multiplicity, simultaneity and possibility?

Space, Scale + Territory

In 2011, the European Union (EU) imposed a ban of turf-cutting on 55 of Ireland’s peat-bogs in a bid to protect them under EU Conservation Laws3 (fig. 2). This law effectively prevents local turf farmers from extracting peat-blocks from the bogs to burn as fuel – a tradition which stretches back hundreds of years and is ingrained in the agricultural and socio-cultural heritage of Ireland’s rural communities of the west and midlands. The EU asserts that large scale mechanical extraction destroys more than just the bog it cuts and that conservation is needed to protect the delicate habitats and hydrology. Traditional turf farming, which involved only hand-tools, human labour and donkeys provided enough fuel for local families, but in recent years commercialisation of the process has resulted in over-exploitation of the bogs – leading to the imposition of the ban.

fig. 2a (global) aerial view of an exploited raised peat bog in Ireland

fig. 2a (global) aerial view of an exploited raised peat bog in Ireland

fig. 2b (local) traditional turf cutter

fig. 2b (local) traditional turf cutter

Ireland, as a member state of the EU, has seen dramatic alterations to its socio-cultural, political, economic and consequently spatial territories over the last 40 years.  What the EU terms ‘community cohesion’4 (ie. infrastructure development), can also be interpreted as the flow of homogeneous global influences into local places.  For all EU members, the notion of the supra-state has been super-imposed onto daily life – an abstract global power/community with concrete impacts on the local5.  The EU, or the state, as an ‘abstract’ power takes a more long term (past and future) and global (scaled out) perspective, and without the passions of local or recent tradition, can act to protect these long term/wider issues (environment, habitats, heritage etc).

Within much of Lefebvre’s work, concepts of space, state and territory are inextricably intertwined – each is related to the other – and implies the other.6  However, while the state and capital try to order and rationalise space into manageable territories’, at the same time, diverse social forces undermine these strategies and simultaneously produce spaces of social and cultural relations. This brings to mind de Certeau’s ‘strategies and tactics’ as a conceptualisation of power relations – whereby, a strategy is the calculation of power relations by a subject with a panoptic view of things, while a tactic is the act of the weak who does not have this view of the whole in order to plan general strategies, thus is limited to isolated and fragmented actions.7  This is a stark picture of state and territorial control over resistive subjects, and perhaps a bit reductive – but if we consider again the (literal) turf-war on Ireland’s peat-bogs, the EU/state imposition is a globally viewed strategy and even though it is probably a well intentioned strategy, farmers are now resorting to cutting turf illegally, continuing tradition through acts of defiance/resistance (tactics).8  The global power has failed to take into account (relate) the relevance of local culture as part of a simultaneity of events which includes the geological/ecological formation of this place as well as the socio-cultural development of contemporary practices as a multiplicity of intertwined narratives.9  This event has served to emphasise the imbalance of power in this relationship.

John Agnew conceptualised the ‘territorial trap,’ whereby territory is considered under three geographic assumptions:

“(i) that the state commands sovereignty over its entire territorial jurisdiction, including the economic processes that unfold within it; (ii) that political-economic life is neatly separated into ‘domestic’ and ‘foreign’ (or international) realms; (iii) that the state ‘contains’ economy and society (or that economy and society are defined by state boundaries).”10

Agnew argues that these assumptions pose a bureaucratic threat through the containment (and constraint) of territorial activities within wider flows and natural systems, as well as through their disregard for grass-roots tactics (not necessarily confined to a local scale) which oppose top-down state strategies. While the EU is a trans-territorial power and in general, does consider the bigger picture, the question has to be asked on behalf of local communities – at what cost?

The spatial manifestation of power relations can also be considered through the urban theory that Lefebvre describes as implosion-explosion11 which can be ascribed to the emergence of the dominant state mode of production [capitalism] – where through policy, regulation, social relations, and the prioritisation of the accumulation of surplus value, space has been reduced to “an ensemble of exchange-values.”12  Needs are manufactured creating new activities which create need for new spaces to create new needs – and thus, the urban continues to implode-explode.  Lefebvre also states: “Urban Society is gestating in and through the ‘bureaucratic society of controlled consumption’”.13  If we consider the growing polarisation between spaces of production and spaces of consumption, then consumption, as a creator of exchange-value, is the implosion shifting the spaces of production to the periphery.  Rent, of which Harvey, Sharzer and Smith discuss in detail, is yet another form of capitalist control which sees lower-value activities peripheralised.14  This is a phenomenon that is apparent in today’s post-industrial cities where the scars of former, industrial/productive spaces are increasingly replaced with semi-privatised, spaces of (controlled) consumption.15  The urban has long been associated with material consumption – relying on a productive, rural hinterland for food and water to nourish the production of knowledge (and needs) – this was a relationship between core and periphery within a relatively local scale.  However, in an economy of supply/demand, cost/value, production moves more and more to the periphery, further diminishing this relationship.  As a society, despite ‘the eradication of distance’ through globalisation, we are distancing ourselves from the messy spaces of production in our demand for, and through consumption, our acceptance of increasingly homogenised and sterile spaces.

However, what of other global territories – for example, the bioregional territories of eco-systems, or the virtual (but arguably no less concrete) territories of the world markets, or internet?  There have been many voices petitioning for a reworking of planning policy to coincide with more natural systems, with the argument that political and administrative boundaries are only a recent invention of human society.16  Dodge makes an impassioned plea for a bioregional governance – one that would “express the biological and cultural realities of people-in-place,”17however what of people not-in-place?  Would bioregionalism allow for more nomadic or deterritorialised socio-cultural practices?  Sharzer is critical of bioregionalism for this reason – “it fails to account for the complexities of human development.”18  Thus, while examining territory from a bioregional context is well intentioned, and certainly brings into the fold the global territories of natural systems (geological, hydrological, air movement, habitats, species migration etc), bioregionalism is, perhaps, an overly simplistic way of understanding territory – one that disregards the historic and contemporary realities of socio-economic activities and socio-political relations at a multiplicity of scales.

The example of the global finance market superimposed onto London’s Docklands in the context of the very local, grounded and historically situated Isle of Dogs’ communities19, with the resultant implosion (of people, wealth, gated communities, conspicuous consumption, increased land value) and consequent explosion (flight of socially alienated, abandoned and out-priced residents) illustrates perfectly Lefebvre’s implosion-explosion problematic.20 (fig. 3)  This is often critiqued as the effects of globalisation, however Brenner rather sees it as “a multi-scalar reterritorialisation of intertwined, geographical scales.”21  The problem, perhaps, is not the superimposition of global networks and territories within local space but the failure of these ‘higher/global’ socio-political-economic relations to integrate and relate to the ‘grounded/local’ situation.  As in the case of the Irish turf-cutters v. EU, it is all too evident where the balance of power lies.

fig. 3. Local v Global View of London’s Canary Wharf Development from Isle of Dogs community.

fig. 3. Local v Global
View of London’s Canary Wharf Development from Isle of Dogs community.

Massey, also, is critical of the ongoing dichotomy of local v. global as concrete v. abstract – and argues that if local space is a construct of our relations and interconnections, then could not global space, a space of stretched relations, be considered concrete too?22  Is it not simply a scaling up of relatedness?  Much like our personal loyalties and relationships are both geographically and socially territorialised – nation, region, city/town, community, neighbours/colleagues, friends, family, partner – isn’t there then the capacity within us to relate virtually and situate ourselves within a multiplicity of global entities and territories?  Through our use of the internet, or augmented reality technologies such as GPS, we are already participating in a global territory – grounded, daily realities which support Massey, Brenner and Lefebvre’s observations23.

In his discussion of these newly formed networks of exchange [communication and commodities], Lefebvre suggests that, “we are confronted not by one social space but by many – indeed, by an unlimited multiplicity…. No space disappears in the course of growth and development: the worldwide does not abolish the local. …. they attain ‘real’ existence by virtue of networks and pathways, by virtue of bunches or clusters of relationships.”24  In other words, the establishment of these new social and political realities do not replace the earlier spaces of relations. Rather, they build upon and superimpose a new layer of relatedness – adding to the multiplicity, and simultaneously of space.  Notions of territory then, in the context of Lefebvre’s nested scales theory as a spatial methodology, is problematic.  The management of space through administrative territorialisation is in conflict with the daily realities of social relations whereby territories are permeable, superimposed, networked and relative.  Socially, while we occupy elastic and porous territories it seems that spatially, we are still bounded.

Fragmentary Planning

Much of Lefebvre’s opposition to planning practices describe a fragmented and reductive approach with little regard for spaces of multiplicity and difference.25  He critiques a scientific approach, itself divided into specialised disciplinary territories, for its tendency “to fragment reality in order to analyse it” and goes on to ask: “Is the city the sum of indices and facts, of variables and parameters, of correlations, this collection of facts, of descriptions, of fragmentary analyses, because it is fragmentary?”26 – in other words, is the city reduced to a collective of differentiated realities because this is how it is?  Fabian identifies a similarly reductive methodology – an imposition of rationality through maps, writing etc. in order to represent at a distance, and visually, a generalised and constructed knowledge of anthropology – what Massey describes as a “taxonomic space” as opposed to “ecological space”.27  Equally, Agnew’s territorial trap28 – a reductive and constrained means of political administration – more often than not, results in fragmentary policy and what Lefebvre has termed as uneven development.29

It is, perhaps, unavoidable to resort to fragmentary analysis as a means of comprehending the complexities that constitute reality and re-presenting these in a non-reductive language poses a serious challenge.  However, if we consider this fragmentary analysis, alongside the problem of territory (and all of its associated power struggles) – then what have been, or are, the implications for space?

fig. 4. The Emergence of Urban Society Lefebvre’s Time-Space Axis

fig. 4. The Emergence of Urban Society
Lefebvre’s Time-Space Axis

In the opening chapter of The Urban Revolution, Lefebvre describes the shifting relationship between the opposing conditions of rural and urban – particularly in his account of the emergence of urban society from the political to the mercantile city, to industrial society to urban society (fig. 4), and whereby man’s point of reference shifted from the (pre-capitalist) agrarian cycles of the rural to (the emerging capitalist) daily realities of the urban.30  As society developed, and adopted exchange-value as a economical basis, the relationship between rural and urban drifted further and further apart.  As discussed in the previous section, consumption became a dominant element in denoting land value and led to the peripheralisation of production, the rural and the local.  Even nature itself has been commodified – rationalised and marketed, a phenomenon observed by Lefebvre: “‘Nature’, or what passes for it, and survives of it, becomes the ghetto of leisure pursuits, the separate place of pleasure and the retreat of ‘creativity’.”31  This is an assertion concurred by Corner who remarks that for much of the twentieth century, landscape (as a manufactured nature) was sentimentally aestheticised as a place to escape the woes of modern, urban life.32  It became scenic, picturesque – “whether for nostalgic, consumerist purposes or in the service of environmentalist agendas”.33  The rural, now marginalised through global capitalism and no longer necessary as a place of production relative to the urban, often became a place of leisure – a romantic ‘great outdoors’ – a reductive concept which still situated the rural as serving the urban but in a role which aligned with the dominance of consumption as a prioritised human activity in the late twentieth century.

Is this proliferation of spaces devoted to controlled consumption a result of fragmentary governance and planning policy?  If we again consider Agnew’s territorial trap34 – in this context as myopic policy-making, ‘enhanced’ by neoliberal deregulation, which has allowed these type of spaces to flourish – it seems clear that planning policy does little to relate global agendas with local needs.35  From another perspective, the current UK government’s Big Society agenda, introduced via the 2011 Localism Act36 is not a solution to top-down planning.  It has, in fact, reduced the level of oversight that might connect currently dis-jointed communities and needs (through the abolishment of intermediary scale regional spatial strategies), and the effectiveness and efficiency that multi-scalar planning policies might provide.  Effectively, Localism serves to further fragment spatial planning with little institutional support that might be capable of making a coherent whole of these fragmented parts.

Despite the nature of governance and planning to be a fragmentary activity, within landscape design at least, there is a growing awareness of landscape’s capacity to act as more than escapist, scenic, or as a bounded part of the world that might be designated, ‘conservation area’.  Corner describes how the Old German word, landschaft, which preceded the Old English, landskip (landscape) denoted the act of inhabiting the land (through relationships between man, animal, land, space, buildings, activities etc.) as opposed to landscape as a thing to behold.37  This concept of landschaft – a working, performative space, layering a multiplicity of processes and relationships – enables spaces of possibility – and acts to replace singular, mono-cultural, fragmented and homogenous land-use patterns with those of simultaneity and difference.  Is this a praxis that could be applied on a wider scale, and across a diverse range of enviroments?

Space, Scale and Relatedness

Having considered, in a broad way, contemporary issues of spatial construction concerning territory, fragmentation and relationships, we now return to the theory proposed earlier – that Lefebvre’s concept of nested scales might be a way of reading and imagining space in a more holistic way.  (fig. 1)  Lefebvre proposes the use of dimensions and levels as a means of introducing “a degree of order into the confused discourse about the city and the urban”38 and distinguishes three levels: global (g); mixed (m); private (p).  These scales are generally discussed in the context of state/urban/individual, however given today’s increasingly globalised relationships and territories (ie. international, supra-state, markets etc.), this concept of related scales is flexible enough to be applied across multiple levels.39  Lefebvre’s related scale theory opens the possibility of three ways of reading and imagining space: (i) it abstracts elements of space and society, within a particular scale, and allows the subjects, objects, relationships, activities, agendas to be differentiated; (ii) through this abstraction, relationships across different dimensions and scales can be read and conceived; (iii) through its core tenet of infinite relatedness, it prevents a totalisation of these abstractions – thus, the understanding of space and subsequent conceptions can never be presented or imagined as complete.40  As a basis for a methodology, Lefebvre’s concept of nested scales has the potential to transcend territories, and to highlight the relatedness of different actors and interdependencies, thus reducing the likelihood of fragmentation and exclusion.  More importantly, it builds in open-endedness – a capacity and allowance for a multitude of possibilities.

There have been other methodologies that also attempt to identify connections and relations between differing spatial, social, physical and ecological elements.  In 1977, Christopher Alexander’s A Pattern Language proposed a new methodology for understanding and designing space.41  Alexander believed that differentiated spatial patterns could be rationalised, ordered and layered, and thus provide the ‘right’ answers for better design solutions:

“The patterns are ordered, beginning with the very largest, for regions and towns, then working down through neighbourhoods, clusters of buildings, buildings, rooms and alcoves, ending finally with details of construction….. Each pattern is connected to certain ‘larger’ patterns which come above it in the language; and to certain ‘smaller’ patterns which come below it in the language”.42

While it is true that there can be patterns in space (both natural and constructed) that can be used to analyse it, and certainly Alexander’s methodology recognises that these patterns form layers of relations, albeit in a limited and rather rigid way, many of the patterns assume a socio-cultural universality, and imply a tabula rasa situation.  In particular, the regional and town patterns, (fig. 5) which seek to reorganise regions and settlements within an optimum population and density model, reeks of social engineering and which, like bioregionalism, and like Walter Christaller’s Central Place Theory43 (fig. 6) assumes static and stable economies/ecologies, and non-nomadic tendencies.  A Pattern Language continues to be influential in schools of architecture today, and some of the patterns can be useful tools, however as a total methodology, it is overly rationalistic and fragmented, and fails to allow for simultaneity and difference.

fig. 5. A Pattern Language _ Independant Regions

fig. 5. A Pattern Language _ Independant Regions

fig. 5. A Pattern Language _ The Distribution of Towns

fig. 5. A Pattern Language _ The Distribution of Towns

fig. 6. Spatial Economics Walter Christaller’s Central Place Theory: Consumer distribution based on services profitability and hierarchy of use/proximity.

fig. 6. Spatial Economics
Walter Christaller’s Central Place Theory: Consumer distribution based on services profitability and hierarchy of use/proximity.

Ten years earlier than Alexander, Ian McHarg, in Design with Nature, proposed a methodology of mapping the intricate relationships that constitute a space by extracting physical, social, economic, historical, political, cultural, ecological ‘inventories’ in order to build a composite picture of values (constraints) which would enable a development proposition that was sensitive to the existing, contextual situation44 (fig. 7). McHarg states: “It is a great advance from ‘I-to-it’ to ‘I-to-Thou’, but ‘we’ seems a more appropriate description for ecological relationships. The economic value system must be expanded into a relative system encompassing all biophysical processes and human aspirations”.45  McHarg’s ‘relative system’ has been hugely influential in design and planning as a rational and visual means of extracting complex socio-economic, physical and ecological data from spatial realities and has played a large role in advancing the notion of the urban as an ecology – as a field of dynamic relationships46, however it has also been criticised for it’s “ecological and methodological fundamentalism”47 in that it continues to polarise the urban against nature and assumes that the parameters resulting from the methodology is the correct answer without need or room for any creative, or aesthetic addition.48

fig. 7. Design with Nature Ian McHarg, Excerpts from Staten Island Study

fig. 7. Design with Nature
Ian McHarg, Excerpts from Staten Island Study

The emerging practice of landscape urbanism considers the urban surface as a unitary field (ie. a ground-plane which includes buildings, roads, open space, habitats etc) that supplants architecture as the ordering mechanism of urbanism.49  Territories are porous, and the urban surface is read as a multiplicity of indeterminate relations.  This practice takes forward McHarg’s thesis however rejects his dualism of nature and city, proposing instead a more integrated and hybridised approach.50  Pollack, referring to Lefebvre’s diagram of nested scales as supporting a relational approach to engaging with sites, states: “A site exists at an unlimited number of scales” 51 and cites a number of schemes where a scaled approach has been used to bring together disparate and challenging elements.  One of these is OMA’s Kunsthal and Museum Park in Rotterdam (fig. 8) where the simultaneity of scales is most evident in the ramp which acts to connect building, park, street, city.52  At the scale of the building, the ramp passes through a range of programmes – ticket booth, cafe, gallery, bookshop53.  At the scale of the park, the ramp forms part of a promenade of similarly scaled elements (the Kunsthal, a ‘romantic’ park, an asphalt event space, a geometrically planted orchard), connecting one side of the museum park to the other – each scale provides a spacing, or a punctuation in the experience of the park54. This promenade is appropriated by its contextual conditions – museum, park, city – nested elements forming dynamic relationships with each other, and with the intertwining trajectories of its users55.

fig. 8. Nested Scales OMA Museum Park, Rotterdam

fig. 8. Nested Scales
OMA Museum Park, Rotterdam

Within landscape urbanist texts, another much cited event is the competition for Parc de la Villette in Paris, in 1982.56  Two projects stood out – firstly, OMA’s proposition of four strategic, layers (east-west synthetic/natural strips; confetti grid of service kiosks; circulation paths and large objects such as forests) were intended to offer a framework for flexible use as needs changed.  The designers described this multi-layered proposal of “programmatic indeterminacy57” as a “‘landscape of social instruments’ where the quality of the project would derive from the uses, juxtapositions, and adjacency of alternating programs over time.”58  The winning project was Bernard Tschumi’s grid of red follies which prioritised event and program over stylistic concern (fig. 9).  This ‘point-grid’ distributed “a non-finite number of elements in a space”59 where each folie could relate to other folies on the grid (a permeability), as much as it could be divisible and relate to its own parts.60  This layering of axes, points and surfaces was intended as a scaled multiplicity of relations and events – not as a territorialised park in the city, but rather as an extension of the cultural events and dynamics of the city in the park.  Derrida states: “the structure of the grid² and of each cube … leaves opportunity for chance, formal invention, combinatory transformation, wandering.”61  Likewise, Wall concludes of OMA’s proposal, although also applicable to Tschumi’s, “the design is first a tactical strategy, anticipating the uncertainties of future development.”62  Both projects situate themselves within a multiplicity of spatial relations and scales but through open-ended programming, build in capacity for flexibility and grass-roots tactics. Time, or at least the uncertainty of futures, is considered in relation to the here and now.

fig. 9. Indeterminate Programming Lines/Points/Surfaces,  Parc de la Villette, Paris - Bernard Tschumi

fig. 9. Indeterminate Programming
Lines/Points/Surfaces, Parc de la Villette, Paris – Bernard Tschumi

Landscape urbanism, in its consideration of space as fields of dynamic relationships and indeterminacy seems closely aligned with Lefebvre’s theory of nested scales and relatedness. Opportunities for simultaneity and multiplicity are implicit, programmes are relative and offer a degree of flexibility which leaves opens the possibility for difference and inclusiveness.

Towards a Synthesis?

So, could Lefebvre’s theory of nested scales be the basis for a methodology to analyse and work towards a less-reductive comprehension of space?  By less-reductive, if we consider Lefebvre’s construction of space as a continual process of the conceived, perceived and experienced63, or in other words a process of being-becoming, then it is impossible to ever gain a totality of comprehension. In The Right to the City, Lefebvre states, “Descriptions, analysis and attempts at synthesis can never be passed off as being exhaustive or definitive.”64  Furthering this discussion in The Production of Space, he proposes a unitary theory as a conceptualisation that “in no way aspires to the status of a completed ‘totality’, and even less to that of a ‘system’ or ‘synthesis’.”65  Lefebvre was not positing a rationalised, all-knowing solution for an analysis of the city, or its design – but rather an understanding that space is occupied, imagined and perceived through a simultaneity of trajectories, events, relationships and agendas on a infinite multiplicity of scales. Thus, while his theory of nested scales could not be considered a complete methodology of rules, such as Alexanders, – it could, however, act as a sort of guidance for analysts and designers.

This paper has attempted to explore a number of Lefebvre’s theories on the city, on relatedness and on scale, in the context of a broad range of literature on related issues, as a means of interrogating current practices in design and planning at a variety of scales.  Between these scales, there appears to be little cross-referencing that might allow different needs and agendas to relate.  Analysis and policy continues to be fragmented resulting in dis-jointed practices and tensions, however, emerging praxis, such as landscape urbanism, consider space in terms of its dynamic relationships and consequently, proposals are open-ended, flexible and indeterminate.

If space can be understood as the product of a multiplicity of differential social relations, within “a plurality of trajectories, a simultaneity of stories-so-far”,66 then perhaps a ‘scaled’ way of looking at spatial sites and situations would enable a more holistic, inclusive and differential urban practice.



1. Massey, D. For Space, London: Sage, 2005, p. 187
2. Lefebvre, H. The Production of Space, Oxford: Blackwell, 1974/1991;  Lefebvre, H. The Urban Revolution, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1970/2003;  Lefebvre, H. Writings on Cities, Oxford: Blackwell, 1996;  Massey, 2005;  Pollack, L. ‘Constructed Ground: Questions of Scale’, in Waldheim, C. The Landscape Urbanism Reader, New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006;  Soja, E. Thirdspace: Journeys to Los Angeles and other real-and-imagined places, Oxford: Blackwell, 1996;  Stanek, L. Henri Lefebvre on Space, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011
3. Logan, T. Turf-cutters battle over Irish peat bog ban [online] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/from_ our_own_correspondent/9508788.stm [Accessed: 06/01/2013];  National Parks & Wildlife Service. Peatlands and Turf Cutting. [online] http://www.npws.ie/peatlandsturf-cutting/ [Accessed: 6th January, 2013]
4. European Commission. EU Cohesion Fund [online] http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/thefunds/cohesion/ index_en.cfm. [Accessed: 6th January, 2013] – The EU’s Cohesion Fund is aimed at member states whose GDP is less than 90% of the community average. At present, the cohesion fund is active in the newer member states (mostly former eastern bloc countries) although Greece is currently a recipient also. Ireland has benefitted from the Cohesion Fund since its accession to the EU in 1973 to well into the 2000s.
5. Brenner, N & Elden, S. ‘Henri Lefebvre on State, Space, Territory’ International Political Sociology, 2009, 3, pp. 353-377
6. Brenner & Elden, 2009. p.364
7. de Certeau, M The Practice of Everyday Life, London: University of California Press, 1984, p. 35-37;  Massey, 2005, pp. 45-47, Lefebvre, 1996, pp. 147-159
8. de Certeau, M. 1984, p.35-37
9. Massey, 2005, p.54 – what she has described as, “a sphere of coexisting multiplicity, space as a simultaneity of stories so far”
10. Brenner & Elden, 2009, p.354  – inverted comma’s in original
11. Lefebvre, 1970/2003, p.14 – The concept of implosion-explosion describes the tremendous concentration of urban reality (core: people, wealth, commodities, needs/consumption, knowledge, activities, objects) which created an immense explosion of disparate fragments [peripheries: suburbs, families, production]
12. Brenner, N. ‘Reflections on Henri Lefebvre, urban theory and the politics of scale,’ International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Vol 24, 2, June 2000, p. 370
13. Lefebvre, 1970/2003, p.4 – he also discusses this as ‘organisational capitalism’ on pp. 163-164
14. Harvey, D. From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution, London: Verso, 2012; pp. 89-112;  Sharzer, G. No Local. Winchester: Zero Books, 2012, pp.56-82;  Smith, N. Uneven Development: Nature, Capital and the Production of Space, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1984, p. 138
15. Harvey, 2012 Harvey, D. The Condition of Postmodernity, Oxford: Blackwell, 1990;  Sharzer, 2012;  Sudjic, D. The 100 Mile City, London: André Deutsch, 1992
16. Mumford, L. ‘Regional Planning,’ in Canizaro, V (ed) Architectural Regionalism. New York: Princeton Architectural Press 1931/2007, pp.236- 243;  Dodge, J. ‘Living by Life: Some Bioregional Theory and Practice,’ in Canizaro, V (ed) Architectural Regionalism. New York: Princeton Architectural Press 1981/2007, pp.340-349; McHarg, I. Design with Nature, New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1992
17. Dodge, 1981/2007, p.345
18. Sharzer, 2012, p.40
19. Massey, 2005, p.166-169;  Minton, A. Ground Control, London: Penguin, 2012, pp.3-14;  Sassen, S. The Global City Chichester: Princeton University Press, 1991
20. Lefebvre, 1970/2003, p. 14 – refer also to reference note number 11.
21. Brenner, 2000, p.370
22. Massey, 2005, p.184-185
23. Brenner, 2000;  Lefebvre, 1974/1991;  Massey, 2005
24. Lefebvre, 1974/1991, p.86 – italics in original
25. Lefebvre, 1970/2003, pp. 46-76; Lefebvre, 1996, pp. 94-96; Lefebvre, 1974/1991, pp. 355-356
26. Lefebvre, 1996, p.94
27. Massey, 2005, p.75
28. Brenner & Elden, 2009, p.354
29. Lefebvre, 1974/1991, pp. 335-336; Lefebvre, 1970/2003, pp. 79-80; Smith, 1984, pp. 135-147
30. Lefebvre, 1970/2003, p.15.
31. Lefebvre, 1996, p.158
32. Corner, J. ‘Recovering Landscape as a Critical Cultural Practice’ in Corner, J. Recovering Landscape, New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999, p.1-26
Corner, 1999, p.8
33. Brenner  & Elden, 2009, p.354
34. Sharzer, 2012.
35. Parliament.uk, Localism Act 2011 [online] http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2010-12/localism.html [Accessed: 6th January, 2013]
36. Corner, J. ‘Eidetic Operations and New Landscapes,’ in Corner, J. Recovering Landscape, New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999, p. 153-169
37. Lefebvre, 1970/2003, p.77;  Lefebvre, 1974/1991, pp.153-158 – see also fig. 1
38. Lefebvre, 1970/2003, p.77;  Lefebvre, 1974/1991, pp.153-158 – These scales could be discussed, and have been using a variety of terminology – global: international, state, supra-state; mixed: intermediate, mediating, regional, urban; private: individual, local, community
39. Lefebvre, 1974/1991
40. Alexander, C. A Pattern Language. New York: Oxford University Press, 1977
Alexander, 1977, p. xii
41. O’Donovan, S. Regions in Symbiosis, Plymouth University ARCO213, unpubllised undergraduate essay, 2009, p. 8;  Pulmain, D. Central Place Theory [online] http://www.hypergeo.eu/spip.php?article188# [Accessed: 9th January, 2013]
42. McHarg, 1967/1992
43. McHarg, 1967/1992, p.197
44. Corner, J. ‘Terra Fluxus,’ in Waldheim, C. The Landscape Urbanism Reader, New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006, pp. 21-33
45. Weller, R. ‘An Art of Instrumentality: Thinking through Landscape Urbanism’ in  Waldheim, C. The Landscape Urbanism Reader, New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006, p. 76
48. Corner, 2006, p.30;  Waldheim, C. ‘Landscape as urbanism’ in Waldheim, C. The Landscape Urbanism Reader, New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006, p.38; Weller, 2006, pp.75-76
49. Wall, A. ‘Programming the Urban Surface,’ in Corner, J. Recovering Landscape, New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999, p.233
50. Waldheim, 2006
51. Pollack, 2006, p.130
52. Pollack, 2006, p.132
53. Pollack, 2006, p. 132
54. Netherlands Architecture Institute, The Museum Park. [online] http://en.nai.nl/about_the_nai/nai_building/ item/_pid/kolom2-1/_rp_kolom2-1_elementId/1_146684 [Accessed: 9th January, 2013]
55. Pollack, 2006, p. 132
56. Wall, 1999;  Waldheim, 2006;
57. Koolhaas, R. ‘Congestion without Matter; in S,M,L,XL, New York: Monacelli, 1999, p. 921 cited in Waldheim, 2006, p. 41
58. Wall, 1999, p. 237
59. Derrida, J. ‘Point de Folie – Maintenant L’Architecture,’ in Leach, N. Rethinking Architecture. Abingdon: Routledge, 1986/1997, pp. 324-336;  Tschumi, B. Cinégramme Folie Le Parc de la Villette, Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1987
60. Derrida, 1986/1997, p. 325;
61. Derrida,1986/1997, p. 331
62. Wall, 1999, p. 238
63. Lefebvre, 1974/1991, p.26-53
64. Lefebvre, 1996, p. 153
65. Lefebvre, 1974/1991, p. 413
66. Massey, 2005, p.12

Image Credits

fig. 1 Lefebvre’s diagram of Nested Scales
Source: Lefebvre, H. The Production of Space, Oxford: Blackwell, 1974/1991, p. 155

fig. 2 a. Aerial View of Peat Bog
Source: http://friendsoftheirishenvironment.net/cmsfiles/peataerial.jpg

fig. 2 b. Traditional Turf Cutter.
Source:http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vf7ZVATY-VA/UES1GXjn-oI/AAAAAAAAEHM/uvRzg_UZogg/s1600/ man+and+donkey+drawing+turf.jpg

fig. 3 London Docklands Canary Wharf & Isle of Dogs Communities
Source: Minton, A. Ground Control, London: Penguin, 2012, p. 2

fig. 4 Lefebvre’s Space-Time Axis
Source: Lefebvre, H. The Urban Revolution, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1970/2003, p. 15

fig. 5 Regions and Town Patterns
Source: Alexander, C. A Pattern Language. New York: Oxford University Press, 1977, p. 14, 20, 25

fig. 6 Walter Christaller’s Central Place Theory
Source: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kFw2JhZDKFI/TxID_i6SP7I/AAAAAAAAAE8/8V2KrVC7SE0/s1600/CENTRALPLACE.gif

fig. 7 McHarg’s Staten Island Project
Source: McHarg, I. Design with Nature, New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1967/1992, pp. 106-114

fig. 8 OMA’s Museum Park
Source: http://en.nai.nl/about_the_nai/nai_building/item/_pid/kolom2-1/_rp_kolom2-1_elementId/1_146684

fig. 9 Bernard Tschumi Parc de la Villette
Source: Tschumi, B. Cinégramme Folie Le Parc de la Villette, Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1987

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