#Espace_public #dfs #bien_communs #géographie
Why Public Space is Overrated (and probably dead) | GeoPickmeup
Parmi les nombreuses listes auxquelles je suis abonné - et que je ne peux évidemment pas suivre - il y a la liste « Geography » sur LinkedIn qui regroupe des géographes vraiment intéressants et ouverts, dont Anne-Laure Fréant qui a lancé un débat utile et qu’il faudrait poursuivre sur « l’espace public ».
Why Public Space is Overrated (and probably dead)
I believe that we, as members of modern, mostly urban and cosmopolitan societies, have never had so many debates over public space before. I’ve dealt with urban planners and PhD candidates (as an urban studies PhD student myself) for a little while, and there is one obsession among city thinkers: the very meaning of public space. It turns out there is no easy definition for this concept, as there isn’t one either for “space”, “place” or this terrible word we use excessively: “identity”. We made up these concepts and have struggled since to prove and explain them, but it feels like we can’t reach any satisfactory answer.
Lire la suite donc sur le blog d’Anne-Laure, c’est long mais pou ceux qui s’intéressent à la question, ça vaut le coup.
quelques commentaires à ce papier tirés de la, page LinkedIn :
From Brad Bass
Urban Issues Lead, Great Lakes Nutrient Initiative
Anne-Laure has written a very thoughtful and perhaps disturbing piece if your job is to plan public spaces. I have seen public spaces work; usually when they are used for a focused event, where people have to interact with each other to do interesting things. Dundas Square in Toronto can work in this way. I was part of a display on the environment and we were demonstrating a hydraulophone. Hydraulophones are great engagement vehicles, acutually they are musical instruments that make sound from water. Not surprisingly, the Ontario Science Centre has installed a big hydraulophone outside of the main entrance. Science fairs are a great way to facilitate conversation on a range of issues (too bad we don’t value the other disciplines enough to have research fairs in those areas), I built my own space that facilitated a great deal of interaction. It was not meant to be public, but it began to assume that function. However, an empty public square will probably lead to what Anne-Laure has observed, a lot of private spaces.
From Richard Glass
Lecturer at The Open University
I agree that public spaces and actions seem to be undermined by various agencies in the twenty first century, but I also wonder whether social media is facilitating the creation of new forms and uses of (public) space?
The legal status of a parcel of land may be different to how it becomes used over time, through tradition. There is also the question of exactly what rights citizens do have in areas in the custodianship of local authorities.
From Scott Holmes
Independent Computer Software Professional
I don’t believe public space is “dead” but I’m also dubious that it can be designed. The question about being citizens cuts to the quick, however.
That’s not to say that attempts are not made to design public spaces. The question is, dp those places actually become public. There is a location in the San Fernando Valley that I can believe is public, the Balboa Lake area. But I don’t think it is successful as such because of design - at least not in whole. I believe a large part of it’s success as a public space is a fortuitous happenstance of its location. This relatively large area is available only because it can’t be developed - it floods.
From Jean SmilingCoyote
Architecture & Planning Professional
I’m not a lawyer, but think that we’d have to start with the legal definition of “public space” in whatever jurisdiction it’s in. Every public space comes with permissions and restrictions from its jurisdiction(s). After that, we can talk about the planning aspect.
Scott, I’d say public space “can be designed.” There’s much in the old book “A Pattern Language” about this.
From Sir Ron S.
Operations Director at All Jobs Health
Flowers and benches indeed. Mix that in with ‘defensive design’, erasure of unregulated expression (e.g. graffiti) and pervasive surveillance in public spaces and we have quite exclusive constructed places. I suggest that the most up-themselves local government councils put in place the most measures to lock down the type of public activity in so-called public spaces. At the other end, are the lazy councils that merely put up signs on public land prohibiting a range of activities.
Anne-Laure’s observation that spontaneity has been stripped out of the public space planning lexicon seems spot-on in practice. I can accept that council-organised events in public spaces come with a bias towards some levels of exclusivity, but would hope that over the course of year or so all residential/visiting groups get a fair bite at participating in activities that cater for the diversity of the populace. But once such specific activities dissolve into time, and we are left again with the public space, how is it then used and is it really constructed to exclude? I say it is, as the benches aren’t even that comfortable to sit on.
From Rafael Matos-Wasem
Professor and Researcher at HES-SO Valais
Dear all, Anne-Laure is not talking about formal considerations (aesthetics etc.) but on the transformations which public spaces have undergone or experienced in the latest years: an increasing privatization, a commodification, a process of social exclusion. That’s what I understood by reading her fabulous text. Anne-Laure, am I right?
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