Spazi pubblici quotidiani: esperienze di ricerca visuale a confronto
The article presents a reflection on the use of visual ethnography applied to the study of daily use of public spaces in three urban areas in Italy: social housing complexes in the city of Livorno, a neighborhood in the city of Prato and a city block in the city of Florence. Through the comparison of these three researches, the article reflects on the heuristic scope of combining images, sounds and words to conduct social research and to activate participatory interventions to improve the quality of life in urban areas. The relationship between inhabitant and urban environment is complex and the ability to interpret it relies on the ability of researchers to find alternative, or rather additional, tools to verbal expression. This means, in the first place, that we need to observe closely, in order to identify the constituent elements of this relationship: practices, encounters, changes occurring more or less cyclically over time and across the day. Secondarily, it means extending the practice of observation and its tools to inhabitants: the predominance of perceptual and cultural components in the relationship between the individual and the space call for a participatory approach.
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