Ideologies of the everyday : public space, new urbanism, and the political unconscious of bus rapid transit
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This research uses the recent development of bus rapid transit (BRT) on Cleveland, Ohio’s Euclid Avenue corridor as a case-study to explore the links between public transit, public space, and urban planning. Using Fredric Jameson’s (1981) method of textual analysis from The Political Unconscious, I explore the ways the BRT provides access to a buried class consciousness in the city as well as a “symbolic resolution” between conflicting agendas of development and equity. Contextualizing the new spaces of the BRT using a synthesis of Jameson’s (1984) theorization of postmodernism, Mike Davis’ (1990) militarization of public space, and Michel de Certeau’s (1984) spatial practices, I discuss the ways these spaces are remade by individual users as a vital public space despite the BRT’s embedded market ideology and repressive security apparatus. Additionally, I explore what BRT’s ‘ideology of form’ can tell us about the ideology of the dominant paradigm of planning today, New Urbanism, and use it as departure for a closing discussion of Utopian desires in planning.