UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Eating in Public: Re-imagining Collective Urban Life.

Koch, R; (2013) Eating in Public: Re-imagining Collective Urban Life. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

Full text not available from this repository.


Urban public space has long been a key concern in geographical and urban scholarship, yet recent work on the topic has reached something of an empirical and theoretical impasse. This thesis therefore aims to enliven and extend this field of study in three interrelated ways. First, it provides an extensive review and critique of the literature to build an argument that much current research is misguided and problematically restricted to a narrow range of concerns. To promote a more expansive imaginary, the thesis offers a broad conceptualisation of urban public space along with a series of analytic principles and attentive registers for opening up new lines of inquiry. Second, a number of theoretical resources beyond those conventionally used to examine public spaces are considered. In pressing towards more pragmatic and practice-oriented approaches to the subject, the thesis also describes how ethnographic methods can bring about more exploratory research engagements. Third, these ideas are put to work in three empirical chapters that examine novel ways in which public spaces are being re-imagined and re-configured in contemporary U.S. cities. Organised around the theme of ‘eating in public’ these case studies include: the world of underground restaurants and secret supper clubs; the practice of street food vending and its governance; and cafes that leave set prices off the menu and allow diners to decide for themselves what to pay. Each empirical chapter develops a range of concepts and registers for attending to how public spaces are put together and managed. Together, they provide resources for invigorating the study of urban public space and for imagining how more convivial, inclusive and democratic forms of collective life might be nurtured.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Eating in Public: Re-imagining Collective Urban Life.
Language: English
Additional information: Permission for digitisation not received.
Keywords: public space, urban life, food, practice, pragmatism
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1415782
Downloads since deposit
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item