I’m interested in the experience of nighttime and nightscapes (especially urban ones). In that vein, Anne Vogelpohl’s review of Marion Roberts’ and Adam Eldridge’s Planning the Night-time City (London: Routledge, 2009) caught my eye.
Vogelpohl writes: “An expansion of the night-time economy, an increasing everydayness of late-night work and leisure activities, tourism and changing household-structures—these are major driving forces behind the ‘night-time city’ according to Marion Roberts and Adam Eldridge.” (p.2203) “In order to develop possible relationships [between town planning’s and urban design’s skills in England and Wales], the authors set out by unfolding the various aspects of night life in the public realm from lighting to work habits to narratives on the night….” (p.2203)
“Roberts and Eldridge are very considerate of regarding the heterogeneous, contested and contradictory character of a city’s night….” (p.2203) “The tensions between fear and pleasure, between criminality and prosperity or between individual responsibility and economic or political pre-conditions are maintained. On the other hand, a research question and potential main findings get lost in this diversity.” (p.2203)
Vogelpohl takes exception to the absence of both apparent research question and the lack of sufficient Planning history and theory in a book with Planning in its title, but I wonder if it might be useful to me! (She concludes: “While leaving questions open, the book also shows that there are many answers to be searched for in an ‘urban studies of nights’.” (p.2205)
Again, and as with urban studies in general, I wonder how such studies might inform work on Urban Fantasy….
Ref: (emphases in blue bold, mine) Anne Vogelpohl (2011) Book review: Planning the Night-time City. Urban Studies 48(10): 2203-2205