THE PUBLIC PARK AS LIMINAL SPACE: A STUDY OF SPONTANEOUS AND INTENTIONAL BEHAVIOR AND THE IMPACT ON COMMUNITY
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Public spaces, such as parks, provide a space and time that exists outside of the familiar. They are set apart from the everyday, thus providing opportunity for engagement in activities, exploration of behaviors, and interactions with others. They are temporal spaces - ones that are intentionally entered and left. I posit that parks are liminal spaces which provide opportunities – expected and the unexpected. Felix Rosch states that “it is in these liminal spaces that societal changes are being triggered and new collective identities can emerge” (Rosch 2017, 290). The thesis strives to answer the question “how do we encourage cultural health and equity in a diverse and unequal world through the use of public space?” Furthermore, I begin to explore what this means for surrounding communities. Field documentation in Patterson Park (Baltimore, MD) provides current data to augment academic research. The data will be used to support academic research and conclusions. An historical overview of the intended purpose and actual use of public parks is included. Observing happenchance intersections, or avoidance, of park participants begins to inform and answer questions related to whether public parks fulfill their missions, hints to how they could adapt, and provide information about the impact on communities.