wenfei chen

wenfei chen

Berkeley, CA, US


PEOPLE’S PARK---A Case Study of Multiple Publics and Their Spaces

People’s Park in Berkeley, California, USA, is a park in the south of UC Berkeley Campus, off Telegraph Avenue, bounded by Haste and Bowditch street and Dwight Way. The park was created during the radical political movement in 1969.

This project is for the seminar---public space. We do the research of the park and interview with the actor of the park. In our observations, we found out the center actor of the park today are the so-call “homeless people”. As shown in our research, the presence of the charities group, Churches around, Food Not Boom NGO and UC Police to large extent is because the “homeless people”. We adapted Nancy Frasier’s definition on “weak publics” (Fraser, 1990) to describe this “homeless ”group. Because to large extent, as Fraser pointed out that they are hard to make collective decision, and as Don Michell pointed, they are lacking of the rights to the city(Mitchell, 1995) But meanwhile, we do not agree to generalize them as merely a group “weak public”. As indicated in our interviews, they are very varieties. To leave without home is due to different factors. We try to reveal this aspect by correcting the term to describe them as “the multiple weak publics”.

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Status: School Project
Location: Berkeley, CA, US