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The over-familiar landscape that escapes to the absent-minded gaze


Public spaces constitute a relevant part of the landscape of the ordinary city. According to the European Landscape Convention, studies and designs of public spaces, in particular of open spaces, should appropriately focus on the different users who inhabit it and recognise themselves in these spaces. In this sense, close to the traditional studies on morphological characteristics, urban materials and equipment, it is useful to explore the performances of public spaces in innovative ways. This article proposes to come back to emphasise and highlight daily life, still today forgotten as a relevant component of a good design and planning of public spaces. It underlines the importance of the gaze on the everyday and ordinary for urbanism, through some introductory experiences of designed urban spaces and some concepts, such as ‘practices’ and ‘way of uses’. Moreover, it offers a review of different lines of studies on public life and other research interested in daily urban practices. Among these, the article focuses on rhythm and chronographic analysis, which describe practices of use, urban populations and their rhythms of presence within places. In conclusion are presented some opportunities that an adoption of the proposed approaches to everyday could bring to a better management, maintenance and planning of public spaces.

Pages:109 to 122
Section: Society
How to Cite
Mareggi, M. (2017) “The over-familiar landscape that escapes to the absent-minded gaze”, The Journal of Public Space, 2(1), pp. 109-122. doi: 10.5204/jps.v2i1.54.


Total Abstract Views: 152  Total PDF Downloads: 92

Author Biography

Politecnico di Milano
Italy Italy

Mareggi Marco is an architect and urban planner. He holds a Ph.D. in urban and environmental planning. He is Adjunct Professor at the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies (DASTU) of Politecnico di Milano, Italy. He held post-graduate courses in Brazilian universities.
Space-time descriptions and design of the city and ordinary landscapes are the core of his past and present activities. He specializes in analysis and urban design and planning, design and management of urban time policies, co-design of governance and multi-partner policies and policies analysis. He accompanied the drafting of various Territorial Timetable Plans for Italian cities; i.e. he was scientific advisor of the City of Milan for the drafting of its Territorial Timetable Plan (2012-2016).
He works as action researcher and consultant for public administrations, universities and research institutes. He published essays in Italian and international journals and books.


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