The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces

ANSI Presents

The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces

1988, 58 minutes

William H. Whyte was ‘an American urbanist, organizational analyst, journalist and people-watcher.’ You’ve likely heard the oft quoted line, “It is difficult to design a space that will not attract people. What is remarkable is how often this has been accomplished.” That was William H. Whyte.

In the 1970′s, Whyte assembled a group of researchers and filmmakers to apply academies of cultural anthropology to modern urbanites and the way they interact with each other in metropolitan space.

Within the produced film, Whyte offers astute conclusions drawn from the exhausting volumes of data his team collected. When finally released in 1988, The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces connected the way we use large public squares vs. intimate, carved out personal spaces and their relation to street life.

Please join us at RECESS as we share this film together and discuss its implications for cities today, and how we as citizens can improve our own public social space.

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This is presented as part of ANSI: Academy for a New Social Imagination. ANSI is an ad-hoc pedagogical experiment that mobilizes the surplus of creative research in the Portland region. ANSI brings together artists and civic-minded scholars of all sorts under a shared platform of free courses, workshops, screenings, and other events.

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