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Created geography and spatial justice / 9 June 2012

a photograph of an old ship sailing in front of an old Japanese building

The pirate ship on lake Ashinoko, Hakone. Image credit: Gini

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If nothing else, being in Tokyo has served to clarify my ideas about spatial equality;  to crystallise my thoughts about some of the negative psychological effects of historical Greek and Roman architectural practice on European urban design, to ponder  the power of hegemonic places and to begin to formulate further ideas about created heterotopic spaces.

I am quite lazy about following up on even my most important ideas and although my blog intro states that my work 'engages with issues of access, from acknowledged physical needs to perceived symbolic exclusions', I've never spent time in the blog explaining or exploring what I mean by that and why I feel it is important.

As yet, I am unaware of any studies on spatial justice of created geography from a wheelborne viewpoint. Studies of urban poverty by people like Marxist and Distinguished Professor of Anthropology  David Harvey ('Social Justice and the City'), resonate with some of the issues - his postulation that Capitalism 'annihilates space to ensure it's own reproduction' raises awareness of the shrinking dimensions of many modern created environments; but the notion that justice has a geography and the equitable distribution of resources, services and access is a basic human right (Soja), is at the heart of my interest in perceived symbolic exclusions. Created geography that marginalises difference has negative psychological effects on how society sees itself and invests in it's future.


In Britain I queue,
for the wheelchair-wide
dropped curb and wait
while the wheelless
use this easy space.
I queue for the
auto-door, wheelless
prefer it's lack of
effort. And I am
required frequently
to make excuse for
my bulky presence;
squeezed to the edges,
This urban geography
lacks a sense of
welcome, lacks
the sense of justice.