MEETING ON THE EDGE: URBAN SPACES AND DIFFUSION OF THE NOVEL

Journal Title: 
Spaces and Flows Journal

Urban centers serve as hubs of human innovation and as places where different ideas and cultures come together, creating complex and organic mixing of ideas. However some urban areas are more dynamic than others. Though Richard Florida discusses the role of demographics in this differentiation of urban zones, the nature of the urban form also plays a role. Much as ecosystems exhibit complex adaptive structure along edges and in patches of extreme diversity and dynamic behaviour, urban zones contain complex evolving structure, particularly where the reuse and re-appropriation of space is ongoing. This paper explores two North American urban markets, Granville Island in Vancouver, Canada, and the Ferry Building Market in San Francisco, California, and studies how the markets were created as a renewal of dead urban space, and how they successfully act as “third spaces” where the meeting of the local and external can occur, and how they act as diffusion points for new and novel foods and experiences.