Recent global appropriations of public spaces through urban activism, public uprising, and political protest have brought back democratic values, beliefs, and practices that have been historically associated with cities. Given the aggressive commodification of public re- sources, public space is critically important due to its capacity to enable forms of public dis- course and social practice which are fundamental for the well-being of democratic societies.
Public Space Reader brings together public space scholarship by a cross-disciplinary group of academics and specialists whose essays consider fundamental questions: What is public space and how does it manifest larger cultural, social, and political processes? How are public spaces designed, socially and materially produced, and managed? How does this impact the nature and character of public experience? What roles does it play in the struggles for the just city, and the Right to The City? What critical participatory approaches can be employed to create inclusive public spaces that respond to the diverse needs, desires, and aspirations of individuals and communities alike? What are the critical global and comparative perspectives on public space that can enable further scholarly and professional work? And, what are the futures of public space in the face of global pandemics, such as COVID-19?
The readers of this volume will be rewarded with an impressive array of perspectives that are bound to expand critical understanding of public space.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Section 1. Public Space: State of the question. Section 2. Diversity and inclusion in public space. Section 3. From the Just City to the Right to Public Space. Section 4. Public space as site of activism, protest and dissent. Section 5. Governance and management of public space. Section 6. Public art and public culture in/of public space. Section 7. Public space infrastructures. Section 8. Experiential Dimensions and Evaluation of Public Space. Section 9. Global and comparative perspectives on public space.
Miodrag Mitrašinović is a Professor of Urbanism and Architecture at Parsons School of Design. His scholarly work focuses on the role design plays as an agent of social and political change, and as a catalyst for critical urban transformations. His research argues for the centrality of designing in the conceptualization, socio-spatial production, and representation of democratic and participatory urban space. His work also focuses on the generative capacity and infrastructural dimensions of public space, specifically at the intersections of urban and public design, social justice, and public policy. Miodrag is the co-editor of the The Emerging Public Realm of the Greater Bay Area: Approaches to Public Space in a Chinese Megaregion (Routledge 2021); Cooperative Cities (2018); editor of Concurrent Urbanities: Designing Infrastructures of Inclusion (Routledge 2016); co-editor of Travel, Space, Architecture (Routledge 2009); and author of Total Landscape, Theme Parks, Public Space (Routledge 2006).
Vikas Mehta is a Professor of Urbanism at the School of Planning at the University of Cincinnati. His research explores the various dimensions of urbanity through the exploration of place as a social and ecological setting and as a sensorial art. Mehta is the co-editor of Companion to Public Space (Routledge 2020); editor of Public Space (Routledge 2015), an anthology of 98 chapters; co-author of 101 Things I Learned in Urban Design School (2018); and author of The Street: A Quintessential Social Public Space (Routledge 2013) that received the 2014 Book Award from the Environmental Design Research Association.