Week 6 Reading Response

The Social Life of Small Urban Places


The main idea of this article is that Whyte and his colleagues tried to form a code to figure out the functioning of urban spaces.  That is the reason why they focused on Plaza areas to make observations about utilization of open spaces. It is a clever way to put time-lapse cameras to overlook the plazas and record daily patterns. This way, they can observe peak activity around the plaza, for instance around noon at lunch times.  After that, it is important to examine people’s psychology around the open spaces. Generally they affect each other. For example, they observed that men generally prefer to take front-row seats because they think that if there is gate, they should be the guardians of gate. It is important to realize people’s behavior: why do they choose to stand in the middle of open spaces? Why do people choose to maintain their conversations in the middle of the flow?

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