"Why do we have public spaces in cities? What are they for? What role do they have in everyday social life? The Ludic City argues that one of the fundamental functions of public space is as a setting for informal, noninstrumental social interaction, or play. The concept of play highlights the distinctive character of urban experience: the ways people sense urban settings, move through them and act within them. Play is an important but largely neglected aspect of people’s experience of urban society, and embraces a wide variety of activities which are spontaneous, irrational or risky, and which are often unanticipated by designers, managers and other users. Focusing on the playful uses of public space, this book provides a much-needed counterpoint to the instrumental pragmatism which dominates everyday urban life and the design of city spaces.
Drawing together arguments from the fields of urban design, planning, sociology, anthropology, philosophy and environmental psychology, this book provides a fresh and detailed depiction of play in the specific context of urban public space. By illustrating the forms that play takes, it reveals people’s creativity, curiosity and imagination in using urban space." (from the book)