The presence of others who see what we see and hear what we hear assures us of the reality of the world and of ourselves.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Citizens´ Privatisation of Public Space

One of the huge contrasts of the modern era has been between public and private. This contrast has become even greater in as cities grow and are transformed into metropolises. According to Lyn H Lofland, the city is a community made up of strangers, something that was not experienced in villages or towns. The individual therefore is seeking to reconcile the feeling of strangeness.* Privatisation of public space enables citizens to develop a feeling of belonging to a place within which they live.

A lively and constantly growing cities tend to define its parameters shaped by its citizens. Although local authorities attempt to impose legislation on the city, its citizens remain resistant to some regulation, developing their own tactics for taking the power open space. The informal creation of urban spaces, hybrid and continuously changing, are always full of people. 

The way that citizens in these ways take advantage of unprogrammed public spaces and live the city as they want to, raises lot of questions for architects and planners. Can something in-between, which gives the citizens the opportunity to make their own decisions about their city, be designed and applied?

* LH Lofland, A World of Strangers, 1973

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