What's going on? The New Dynamics of Public Space
MAO Debates
Curated by Matevž ?elik about the impact of contemporary public space practices on urban economy, politics and quality of life. It is part of the Europe City project.

Lecture for the debate held at MAO, the Museum of Architecture and Design [Ljubljana] in May 2014.

Context:
Public space is freedom. It is a place of differences expressed by everyday life, rhythms, rituals, nature and history. It allows us to meet one another, connect and work together in ways organized or entirely spontaneous. As a space of democratic political participation and one in which new economies emerge, public space enables society to transform itself. In this light, it is an essential component of quality of life that goes beyond measurable indexes evaluating cities or localities in a competitive context. The most interesting happenings in public space occur in the background of the newly designed furniture and smooth pavements, where people interact and find new uses for space in ways previously unimagined.

Therefore, beyond its physical appearance, the social situations and goings-on of public space are today highly relevant with regard to its reorganization and transformation. Architects, designers and urban planners increasingly expand their role into strategic fields, dealing simultaneously with the structure of public space and with its dynamics. Their aim is to improve the self-organization of citizens and facilitate social interaction within the communities and their relationship to the environment. Thus, public space is becoming a common platform for thinking and production that overcomes the tensions between policy and planning.

More info: MAO What's going on?

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