PERCEPTIONS OF SPACES IN PUERTO VALLARTA, JALISCO, MEXICO
Land use patterns in rural areas and cities, and other settlements, reflect the interplay of competing and complementary forces involving the environment, social and economic conditions and political systems. The resulting patterns are influenced by, and in turn influence the social behaviour of individuals and groups as they lead their daily lives. Within the context of an urban place there are two somewhat distinct types of land use that can be characterised as occupying either private spaces, for example, manufacturing, commercial, retailing and institutional, or those activities that occupy what have been called public spaces, for example, streets, plazas, squares and parks. Clearly, the private spaces have elements of public usage built in as individuals often use such spaces to stroll, gaze, rest, chat and shop and hence treat them as public spaces which do not generally require special permission from an owner to enter. It is also observed that there are spaces that are reserved for ‘chosen people’ or members of specific groups. Membership is defined in a variety of ways, for example, by religious affiliation, clan membership, social or ethnic status: or more informally by the feeling that one is welcome and belongs and is not a stranger.