Teenagers in the Contemporary City: Hypermodern Times, Spaces and Practices

  • Luc GwiazdzinskiEmail author
Part of the Urban and Landscape Perspectives book series (URBANLAND, volume 15)


This chapter aims to examine teenagers’ practices in public space, the modes of appropriation that stigmatise certain types of places and worry parents and adults, particularly in the evening and at night. It is based for the most part on a study conducted for the French Union of Holiday Centres (UFCV) on ‘teenagers’ times and spaces of sociability’ and on a more detailed survey conducted in the outskirt area of Besançon, in Eastern France. Our study highlights the importance of a spatial and temporal approach to youth, at the level of living areas, so as to allow for the co-construction, locally and with the youth, their parents and residents, of projects and policies adapted to their needs. The chapter emphasises the necessity of transcending preconceived ideas about teenagers, to acknowledge and respect their temporalities, in order to be able to conceive a city and public spaces that are more accessible and welcoming, places where they can express themselves and places where they can hide: ordered times and places but also places and times for freedom and adventure. More generally, these populations, whose behaviour is increasingly mobile, fragmented and unstable – caricatures of a hypermodern society – call into question the urban fabric, the duality and diversity of urban times and spaces. Between the ‘poly-temporal city’ and the ‘à la carte city’, the boundaries are increasingly blurred.


Youth Everyday life practices Public space Mobility patterns Space-time use 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire Pacte (UMR CNRS)Université Joseph Fourier, IGAGrenobleFrance

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