The root cause of diminishing public resources and the privatization of urban public space today is precisely the privatization of our political system — a crisis that cannot be addressed simply by creating more public spaces or by making these public spaces more inclusive and accessible. This deeper crisis requires the attention and intervention of a much more active and engaged public, a public willing and capable of speaking up and mobilizing politically to change the system. — Places Journal
The recent wave of citizen protests — from Tahrir Square to Zuccotti Park to the streets of Athens — has brought renewed attention to the role of public space in democratic society. In an essay on Places (excerpted from the new book Beyond Zuccotti Park, by New Village...
French design collective FERPECT has shared with us their project DUNE, winner of Forme Publique 2011, the Biennale of Street Furniture Design at the futuristic business district La Défense near Paris. DUNE is being exhibited from March 28 until December 31 on the La Défense square. — bustler.net
The High Line in New York succeeds because it unites neighborhoods and gets people outside, building a community in a space that was planned to be demolished: it brought life from rehabilitation. As we all know, Los Angeles has many places that need rehabilitating and that could serve as a point of unification. The problem though is that unlike the High Line we don’t have an area that stretches between neighborhoods without feeling forced or unantural. — laimyours.com
The Jury of the European Prize for Urban Public Space 2012, chaired by Spanish architect Josep Llinàs, has announced two joint First Prize winners [...].
The European Prize for Urban Public Space is an award created by the CCCB in 2000 to acknowledge and encourage the creation and recovery of public spaces in European cities, and to highlight urbanistic interventions that promote the public dimension of urban space and its role in social integration. — bustler.net
We need to redefine what we mean by “parking lot” to include something that not only allows a driver to park his car, but also offers a variety of other public uses, mitigates its effect on the environment and gives greater consideration to aesthetics and architectural context. — nytimes.com
Winners have been announced at the Bab Al Bahrain Open Ideas Competition with the proposal "Pearl Dive" by Swiss architect Lukas Lenherr taking home the $15,000 First Prize. [...]
Significance was added to this competition by the recent political events that have taken place across the region, encouraging questions about social representation, public identity, urban integration, sense of place, and historic importance. — bustler.net
One of the largest plots in the square, in front of the Egyptian museum and Ritz Carlton hotel, has been fenced off for more than a decade by a company linked to former members of the regime. "My question is what is the intention of any urban intervention by the government or by a competition," said Nasser Rabbat, the Aga Khan professor of Islamic architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. "Is there a movement to make the square more controllable?" — thenational.ae
For if there is one abiding historical certainty it is that, eventually, things change. And they can be made to change. There is no such thing, however, as a revolutionary architecture. Nor does history ever simply start from scratch. Instead, post-revolutionary questions can be posed in advance to infrastructures that already exist.... to reinvent what used to be called housing, schools, hospitals, factories, and farms in a way that asks: What else must change for these changes to be possible? — Places Journal
...the city should reverse its approach, zoning neighborhoods like Midtown, Lower Manhattan and Williamsburg, Brooklyn, by thinking first about the shape of public space instead of private development. — New York Times
The message of the 99% movement is even more fundamental -- that the 99% should have representative voice in the decisions made for this country. I feel aligned with their message and ours. We support their message and their tactics 100%. As designers, we should respect the rights of the 99% to gather in public spaces.
Open Letter by Bryan Bell, founder of Design Corps, sends this open letter in support of #OWS PUBLIC SPACE FOR THE PUBLIC – OR 99% OF IT In a time when the Supreme Court grants the constitutional rights of free speech to corporations, for corporations to have the same rights as individuals...
Occupy Wall Street Protests is testing Public Spaces not meant as campgrounds. But when the public chooses to use its public space in ways it wasn’t intended to be used, who’s right? The public or the public space? — The Atlantic
Whatever the response [to Occupy Wall Street], the fact that these protests have persisted for weeks and months in parks has put a spotlight on public spaces in general. But that fact has also complicated the response. These spaces are part of our cities so they can be used by the public...
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