Vernacular creativity in urban textual landscapes

Authored by: Victoria Carrington , Clare Dowdall

The Routledge Handbook of Language and Creativity

Print publication date:  September  2015
Online publication date:  September  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415839730
eBook ISBN: 9781315694566
Adobe ISBN: 9781317439967


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The urban landscape – the urban design, infrastructure, architecture, and social patterns of the urban spaces in which we dwell – has always been a message system that proclaims wealth, political power, and cultural values. Writing in the field of globalisation, Sassen (1998, 2007) noted that contemporary urban landscapes are shaped by – and therefore tell the story of – the cultural, racial, and spatial diversifications and contestations that occur within them. Mitchell (2000: 102), writing about the production and consumption of landscapes from the perspective of cultural geography, reminds us that ‘landscape’ is a relational process: ‘.β€ˆ.β€ˆ.β€ˆan ongoing relationship between people and place.’ In this chapter, our interest lies in examining the ways in which texts form a key part of this relational process. We begin this chapter from the position that the urban landscape is textual, as well as architectural, characterised by the presence of the printed and visual texts that are arranged in and around these spaces, contributing in their own way to the deployment of values and identities.

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