Qualitative Research 11(6) pp 698-715

In this article we aim to utilise and apply ethnomethodological and interactionist principles to the analysis of members’ situated accounts of regenerated urban space. With reference to previous empirical studies we apply membership categorization analysis and the concept of mundane reason to data gathered from situated street level interviews carried out as part of a programme of ethnographic research into the regenerated setting of Cardiff Bay. The article demonstrates that these data yield sociological insight into social actors’ interpretive and interactional reasoning in relation to the negotiation, navigation and comprehension of space and place. Through this work the patterned signatures of the urban interactional order can be identified. Furthermore, we illustrate the forms of emic rationality associated with the everyday and ubiquitous constitution of urban space as a meaningful, and thence cultural, milieu. It is our claim that an appreciation of these urban forms of reasoning is important in the ethnographic, sociological and geographical analysis of space and place.