Abstract: Henri Lefebvre’s project, developed over decades of research produced a corpus of work that sought to reprioritise the fundamental role of space in the experience and practice of social life. His assertion that there is ‘politics of space’ provides a challenge to the planning and design of the built environment by emphasising the need to understand the complex of elements involved in ‘the production of space’. Lefebvre’s approach and his ‘cry and demand’ for a ‘right to the city’ reflects the fundamental focus and importance he imparts to the practices, meanings and values associated with the inhabitation and use of the social spaces of everyday life. It will be argued that planning and design theory and practice should seek to address more fully and incorporate Lefebvre’s spatial theory as a means to reinvigorate and regenerate the urban as a lived environment, as an oeuvre, as opportunity for inhabitation, festival and play and not merely as a functional habitat impelled by the needs of power and capital.
Keywords: built environment; city; design; Lefebvre; oeuvre; planning; space; urban