Is Public Space Really Public?

Is Public Space Really Public?

. 1 min read

What is it and who designs it (and for whom?)

A public space, according to UNESCO, is “an area or place that is open and accessible to all peoples, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, or social-economic level”. Public space is more important than ever right now during this pandemic. “Space” and developing a more sustainable relationship with it is the theme of this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale. “We need a new spatial contract. In the context of widening political divides and growing economic inequalities.” One of the sessions looked at the imbalance of power in the decision-making process behind the creation of public space. The needs for profit are too often put ahead of the needs of the public, and private stakeholders are not informed on the demands of the communities they affect (Many public spaces are privately owned). There is a Charter of Public Space available here.

+What spaces on campus are public (and how public are they)? Who is responsible for designing these?  Are there any tangible or intangible barriers to accessing these?


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