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Mapping the Form of Social Life: The Case of Five-Foot Way Along Urban Street Edges

Part 2 Dissertation 2023
Gordon Guo Yang Ngu
Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University | China
The notion of boundaries has been blurred following the progression of the city. The current implications of boundaries in the practice of built environment raised concerns about the spatial relationship of in-between spaces separated by boundaries. Therefore, this dissertation draws specific cases of the five-foot way in traditional Southeast Asian shophouses to identify the spatial configurations of the selected area influenced by local inhabitants’ everyday social life. The primary purpose of this dissertation is to study the appropriation of micro-scale spaces, which in this particular case of five-foot way, situated in between buildings and streets as a representative of boundaries from the urban context. By observing and recording through the ethnography method, the in-between spaces have been categorized into several spatial typologies. The outcome of the research reflects the inconsistency of appropriation of the five-foot way according to the collective experience of local inhabitants and their practice of social life. The appropriation of the five-foot way informed the presence of blurred boundaries that delineate indoor and outdoor spaces. As such, this dissertation provides clues to maintain the unique spatial characteristics of shophouses while facilitating the relevant policy to outline planning guidelines for future development.
Gordon Guo Yang Ngu

Jiawen Han
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