1st Edition

Public Property, Law and Society Owning, Belonging, Connecting in the Public Realm

By John Page Copyright 2021
    188 Pages
    by Routledge

    188 Pages
    by Routledge

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    This book examines the almost entirely neglected realm of public property, identifying and describing a number of key organizing principles around which a nascent jurisprudence of public property may be developed.

    In property law terms, the public realm is lost to plain view. Despite the vast acreage of public lands, or the extensive tracts of private lands over which public rights subsist, there is little commensurate scholarly discussion of the ideas, theories, practices, and laws of public property. This is no accident. Public property has been marginalized and pushed to the periphery for centuries, a consequence of the dominant discourse of private property, and its enclosing, encroaching tendencies. This book explores the rich diversity of the public estate, of what the public realm means for us, the general public, canvassing what we may ‘own’, where we may ‘belong’, or not, and how we may ‘connect’ through a shared use and enjoyment of public place and space. To better understand public property is to better value its critical public-wealth. Whether overlooked, over-used, or under threat of imminent loss, this book maintains that our loved (and not so loved) public spaces are essential components of our diverse, functioning, and optimistically livable human geographies. As such, they demand legal protection.

    This important and original book will be of considerable interest to scholars and others with interests in property and land law, socio-legal studies, legal geography and urban studies.


    Chapter 1 - Introduction

    Chapter 2 – Of public order

    Chapter 3 – Of public owning

    Chapter 4 – Of sociability, human flourishing, and the well-lived public life

    Chapter 5 – Of public belonging

    Chapter 6 – Of public connection

    Chapter 7 – Of democracy, protest, and the public square

    Chapter 8 – Conclusion


    John Page is a Professor of Law at the School of Law and Justice at Southern Cross University, Australia.