Edgelands of practice: post-industrial landscapes and the conditions of informal spatial appropriation

Imogen Humphris*, Ward Rauws

*Corresponding author for this work

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Do-It-Yourself urbanism has often been attributed with the capacity to revitalise urban environments in the absence of formal planning activity. However, there is still limited understanding of the ways in which such practices emerge and establish agency within their respective environments. We bring a relational lens to the debate, presenting a framework for identifying how the socio-spatial conditions within the urban landscape enable and constrain citizen-led spatial appropriation. Using a visually oriented, multi-modal approach, the framework is applied to five sites in Glasgow, Scotland, which we conceptualise as Edgelands in a post-industrial city. Findings reveal that informal citizen practices adaptively come into being through a process of negotiation with their social and material context. The paper concludes with policy recommendations for fostering citizen agency in revitalising the post-industrial city and other urban settings that include wastescapes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-604
Number of pages16
JournalLandscape Research
Issue number5
Early online date6-Dec-2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • DIY urbanism
  • Edgelands
  • guerilla urbanism
  • post-industrial
  • ruins
  • spatial appropriation
  • tactical urbanism

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