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The Ludic City: Exploring the Potential of Public Spaces [Paperback]

Quentin Stevens
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

16 April 2007 0415401801 978-0415401807 New Ed

This international and illustrated work challenges current writings focussing on the problems of urban public space to present a more nuanced and dialectical conception of urban life.

Detailed and extensive international urban case studies show how urban open spaces are used for play, which is defined and discussed using Caillois' four-part definition – competition, chance, simulation and vertigo. Stevens explores and analyzes these case studies according to locations where play has been observed: paths, intersections, thresholds, boundaries and props.

Applicable to a wide-range of countries and city forms, The Ludic City is a fascinating and stimulating read for all who are involved or interested in the design of urban spaces.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; New Ed edition (16 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415401801
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415401807
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 16 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 476,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dialectic Onanism 15 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback
It is difficult to take an interesting subject and turn it into a heavily politicised exercise in narcissism. Yet the author has pulled this off with ease. When he is not succeeding in giving misleading accounts of events, he is failing to find an iota of sense. Ivory Tower whining meets Gore Vidal-like modesty.
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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars important counterpoint to mainstream urban theory 24 Jan 2013
By Chris U - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
With greater numbers of people moving to urban areas it is essential that these spaces are designed to accommodate people (both in terms of pragmatic concerns, but also in terms of sentimental, emotional or other not strictly rational concerns).

It is undoubtedly quite difficult to write seriously about the subject of play, to write rationally about something irrational. Due to the nature of the subject, and the thesis of the book running so counter to the dominant, "pragmatic" urban design theories, much of this book may seem to describe events and activities in counter intuitive ways - - leading some to dismiss the arguments without much thought.

The book is a bold and visionary attempt at addressing one of the most fundamental aspects of human experience (play), incorporating that into the fastest growing mode of living (cities).
1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Ludicrous City 15 Aug 2012
By Urbaniste - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This book is pretentious nonsense. It is written from a left post-modernist position and as such has nothing of any validity to say. The author seems to think that he alone understands the potential of public space, which is arrogant beyond belief. A great many other authors have written on this subject, most of them to much greater effect than this. If you are keen on neo-Marxist social theory or convoluted writing littered with trendy theory, then maybe you should read this. I feel sorry for the poor students who will be forced to do so.
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