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Mapping Lefebvre's theory on the production of space to an integrated approach for sustainable urbanism

Wiedmann, Florian and Salama, Ashraf M. (2017) Mapping Lefebvre's theory on the production of space to an integrated approach for sustainable urbanism. In: Routledge Handbook of Henri Lefebvre, Cities and Urban Society. Routledge, London. (In Press)

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Abstract

Henri Lefebvre and his theory of space production gives important insights into how modern urbanisation has led to growing social imbalances and highly conflicted urban spaces endangering the environment worldwide. In spite of his general focus to elucidate the social space and its historic evolution, his ideas of a possible differential space postulate the future emergence of a matured society in harmony with its environment. The chapter introduces a comprehensive framework that juxtaposes the three levels of space production as conceived by Lefebvre and the contemporary understanding of sustainability. Identifying the core challenges to establish sustainable urbanism, the chapter explores the relationship between Lefebvre’s triad of space production and the triadic dynamics of economic, environmental and social concerns. Therefore, three core urban qualities, namely diversity, efficiency and identity, are introduced and their production is mapped to Lefebvre’s theory as well as to an integrated approach for sustainable urbanism. Thus, the main aim of this chapter is to map all three realms of space production into the contemporary urban condition and its underlying realities.