Disneyland: A Public Space Analysis

The concept of public space is perceived as that of an external environment that is populated by material things, people and other living things like plants and animals.  According to a sociological study of urban spaces and its dimensions, it was said that there are four (4) foremost environmental stimuli ( Carmona, 87).  These stimuli are vision, hearing, smell and touch or feel.  Vision relies heavily on the perception of distance, colour, shape, texture and contrast gradients, etc.

Hearing involves “acoustic space” which is “all-surrounding” and is supposedly emotionally rich (Carmona, 87).  The stimuli of smell, like hearing is not well developed in humans (unlike some predatory animals) but it also provides emotionally enriched stimulation.  The last but not the least is the sense of touch or feel – which surprisingly comes through our feet, and buttocks (when we sit down) rather than the hands (Carmona, 87).

All of the four stimuli to our sense of public space was fulfilled by our topic of analysis which is Disneyland.  It also added a fifth dimension to our stimuli – that which stimulates the brain and imagination as to how much public space can change us and affect us all.

II. Answers to posted questions:

Location analysis. Also, what does your analysis of your space reveal about Los Angeles and its use of public space?

Disneyland in Los Angeles (LA) is one of the better public places to go – if only people’s entry and exit are limited to a certain number so as not to overwhelm the limited facilities and amenities that it offers to the paying public.  LA in general is like a macrocosm of Disneyland in the sense that its public utility facilities are being over run by the influx of people that comes into L.A. and stays to work and live on it instead of just coming and going.  The reasons behind this (overcrowding and saturation of public spaces) are the economic opportunities that it offers – being 11th largest in the world and its being known as a cultural gateway only next to Manhattan, New York.

LA’s use of public space should be more attuned to a forecast of city planning, design use and building rather than just allowing the private sector and big businesses to rezone every possible space to a money making venture like mega malls and the like.

Whose interests does the space represent?

Most of the public spaces represent the interest of a few big businesses and studios of the tinsel town republic. While LA has always been recognized as the destination of the rich and famous – and where most of the rich and famous live (and earn their living), there are other big businesses that abound in the area that makes it so attractive as a port of entry to the California’s southland.

Whose interests (if any) dominate the space?

Disneyland is a theme park that is dominated by children’s theme characters.  In fact, Walt Disney, the founder and majority owner of Disneyland came up with the idea of the theme Park because of people – particularly children kept asking where they could meet Mickey Mouse and Snow White.  From there, the concept of Disneyland was founded and its theme and parks kept changing as people and animation technology evolve alongside Disneyland.  So to answer the question on whose interest the space represent – we can safely assume that Disneyland represents all the magical dreams and characters we have and evoke the child inside of each and everyone of us.

What factors makes a public space diverse?

The primary factor that makes a public space diverse is its usage.  We can observe from the patrons of certain public spaces like Disneyland what uses it serves the public when you see the age range that caters to it.  Disneyland has no specific age bracket.  Although majority of people assume that children comprise the most number of visitors to Disneyland, its ever changing theme parks also cater to adult taste and even the technologically savvy – with their space center and other similar themes.

What factors make a public space exclusive?

A public space can be considered exclusive if it only serves a specific age bracket or a specific group of clientele.  Such exclusivity is usually reserved for the rich, the adults and specific interest groups like the veterans, etc.  Such exclusive use of public space also maintains an exclusive membership or entrance fee to use the space.

Who uses the space and how do they use it?

Again, with Disneyland as an example, the management, theme park employees and the general public utilizes the space primarily for amusement.  The space is used to get away from the daily grind of life.

What invisible and visible codes of behavior are found in the space?

The theme and environment that Disneyland evokes a feeling of wishful and dreamlike state in people who enter its gates.  Upon entering Disneyland, people feel like they are in a different world that is devoid of reality and oftentimes changes their behavior inside the park.  People seem to be more carefree, happy and relaxed.  Since the initial theme of animated characters founded the place, the people that go through its park change their demeanor and perspective – at least during the trip inside the park.

Meanwhile the invisible code of behavior can be identified as masking the worries and tensions brought about by people’s daily existence and pressures.  For the meantime though, they are hidden.

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