Sidewalk CityRemapping Public Space in Ho Chi Minh City

Sidewalk CityRemapping Public Space in Ho Chi Minh City

Annette Miae Kim

Print publication date: 2015

ISBN: 9780226119229

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


Sidewalk City re-maps public space in order to unveil contemporary spatial practices and to explore future possibilities. In the midst of historic migration and urbanization, our limited public spaces are being contested and re-conceptualized in cities around the world with innovative experiments in some places and bloody battles in others. This book uses the case of sidewalks in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam where a vibrant everyday urbanism takes place in flexible patterns that defy conventional conceptions of public space. The book makes three contributions to the literature: 1) It develops methods of spatial ethnography for collecting data about the spatial practices of overlooked members of the public who are embedded in local institutions in order to overcome assumptions about how space is used and conceived. 2) The book also develops visual arguments with a critical cartography primer, a progression of original maps to show how our ontology and cartographic conventions illuminate and foreclose knowledge about space. 3) The book’s spatial ethnography and critical cartography is based on applying a property rights theory framework to public space in order to integrate our understanding of both the social and physical aspects of how space is constructed and regulated in society. Using the example of a pilot pedestrian project that was developed for the city from the study’s findings, Sidewalk City discusses the potential of using maps to engage social discourse and urban planning and design institutions with new visual narratives in order to shape the social reconstruction of public space.