Policy Press

Exploring the Production of Urban Space

Differential Space in Three Post-Industrial Cities

By Michael Edema Leary-Owhin


Feb 26, 2016

Page count

380 pages




234 x 156 mm


Policy Press
Exploring the Production of Urban Space

The ideas of Henri Lefebvre on the production of urban space have become increasingly useful for understanding worldwide post-industrial city transformation. This important book uses new international comparative research to engage critically with Lefebvre’s spatial theories and challenge recent thinking about the nature of urban space.

Meticulous research in Vancouver, Lowell MA and Manchester, England, explains how urban public spaces, including differential space, are contested and socially produced. Spatial coalitions, counter-representations and counterprojects are seen as vital elements in such processes. The book contributes critically to the post-industrial city comparative analysis literature. It provides an accessible guide for those who care about cities, public space, city planning and urban policy. This interdisciplinary book will be of interest to academics, researchers and postgraduate students in the fields of urban: geography, planning, policy, politics, regeneration and sociology. It will also be relevant for politicians, policy makers and urban activists.

"This book is a call to arms to begin applying and elaborating spatial theory to old and new situations, as well as valuing an archival approach to urban analysis." Town Planning Review

"This volume is a thoughtful, meticulously researched, and empirically rich account of the character and counter-hegemonic potential of contemporary urban public space. Its strongly argued position on how we should understand space and difference in cities will, no doubt, inspire valuable debate among urbanists.” Eugene McCann, Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University, Canada

"A terrific book that explores the production of urban space through case studies of three cities, which are brought to life in fascinating and meticulous detail and capture the transition from industrial to post-industrial urban space by drawing on the latest advancements in urban theory." John Roberts, Sociology and Communications, Brunel University London

Michael Leary-Owhin has 20 years’ experience in the field of urban regeneration. He is a chartered town planner and has worked in the public and private sectors. Michael has published in a range of academic journals, contributes regularly to major international conferences and is the co-editor (2013) of The Routledge Companion to Urban Regeneration. Currently, he is senior lecturer and course director (MA Urban Regeneration and MA Planning Policy and Practice) at London South Bank University.

Introduction: Cities and public space;

Vancouver: (Re)presenting urban space;

Vancouver: Producing urban public space and city transformation;

Lowell (Re)presenting urban space;

Lowell: Producing urban public space and city transformation;

Manchester (Re)presenting urban space;

Manchester: Producing urban public space and city transformation;

Venturing beyond Lefebvre: Producing differential space;

Conclusions: Differential space implications.