studying the city (Annette Koh)

Public space, the right to the city, and civic engagement. How can we improve equity and access through participatory urbanism? Ph.D. student in Urban & Regional Planning at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Former resident of Seoul & San Francisco.
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Chart taken from David Harvey’s ”Flexible Accumulation through Urbanization: Reflections on ‘Post-modernism’ in the American City” in Amin, Ash, ed. Post-Fordism: a reader. John Wiley & Sons, 2008. Posters by graphic designer Jayme Yen

I’ve about to finally read Henri Lefebvre (straight, no ice) but I really appreciate when people add to his tripartite dialectic of space because it helps fill out the interrelationships. Here, Harvey’s horizontal items of “appropriation and use of space” and “domination and control of space” are reminiscent of Elinor Ostrom’s distinction between operational-level rights and collective-choice rights for common property resources like fisheries. As she wrote in a 1992 article with Edella Schlager, “The distinction between rights at an operational-level and rights at a collective-choice level is crucial. It is the difference between exercising a right and participating in the definition of future rights to be exercised.”

Operational-level rights

  • Access: The right to enter a defined physical property
  • Withdrawal: The right to obtain the “products” of a resource (e.g. catch fish, appropriate water, etc)

Collective-choice property rights

  • Management: The right to regulate internal use patterns and transform the resource by making improvements
  • Exclusion: The right to determine who will have an access right, and how that right may be transferred
  • Alienation: The right to sell or lease either or both of the above collective-choice rights
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