Miret Garcia, Ana

Project Title

The Meaning of Urban Vitality in Non-Central Residential Areas.  Case Studies in Madrid and Edinburgh


The concept of Urban Vitality was introduced by Jacobs (1961) as the main characteristic which distinguishes successful urban areas in relation to the opportunities to meet and conduct transactions and to experience diversity. Research on vitality has been criticised for lacking consideration of the permanent tensions between the appropriation and use of space for individual and social purposes and the domination of space through private property and social power. Moreover, although the experience of diversity and variety are not exclusive of city centres, most research on vitality has focussed on city centres with less attention been paid to non-central parts of the city.  This research aims to cover these gaps by answering to the main questions of what is the meaning of urban vitality in the context of non-central residential urban areas through a qualitative methodology which includes the perspective of the local context by giving a central voice to local people everyday life experiences.  Thus, it aims to contribute to a novel definition of vitality and to identify recommendations for future urban design practice and policy.


Dr Caroline Brown
Dr Ryan Woolrych


Email: am3@hw.ac.uk