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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Residual Meaning: Assembling Thick Urbanism


The preservation and promotion of rich urban environments demands more than logical and functional understandings alone. Although these types of understanding are important to the life of vital cities, what is often overlooked in these views is the role that the incomplete, the messy, and the complex play in constituting the wholeness and viscerality of real urbanity. Aided by perspectives from philosophy and film this article promotes the “residual” aspects of the urban experience and suggests why these aspects might be of even greater importance than more controlled elements of urban life to the continuation of thick, whole, urban settings.

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