Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 23

Public space Related Abstracts

23 Urban Citizenship in a Sensor Rich Society

Authors: Mike Dee

Abstract:

Urban public spaces are sutured with a range of surveillance and sensor technologies that claim to enable new forms of ‘data based citizen participation’, but also increase the tendency for ‘function-creep’, whereby vast amounts of data are gathered, stored and analysed in a broad application of urban surveillance. This kind of monitoring and capacity for surveillance connects with attempts by civic authorities to regulate, restrict, rebrand and reframe urban public spaces. A direct consequence of the increasingly security driven, policed, privatised and surveilled nature of public space is the exclusion or ‘unfavourable inclusion’ of those considered flawed and unwelcome in the ‘spectacular’ consumption spaces of many major urban centres. In the name of urban regeneration, programs of securitisation, ‘gentrification’ and ‘creative’ and ‘smart’ city initiatives refashion public space as sites of selective inclusion and exclusion. In this context of monitoring and control procedures, in particular, children and young people’s use of space in parks, neighbourhoods, shopping malls and streets is often viewed as a threat to the social order, requiring various forms of remedial action. This paper suggests that cities, places and spaces and those who seek to use them, can be resilient in working to maintain and extend democratic freedoms and processes enshrined in Marshall’s concept of citizenship, calling sensor and surveillance systems to account. Such accountability could better inform the implementation of public policy around the design, build and governance of public space and also understandings of urban citizenship in the sensor saturated urban environment.

Keywords: Surveillance, Citizenship, Young People, Public space

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22 Anticipating the Change: Visions and Perspectives towards a Post-Car World

Authors: Farzaneh Bahrami

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Different indicators, such as modal shares in mobility practices or car ownership, may suggest that the century of car dominance - at least in Europe and North America - is already behind us. If the emergence of the car had radical spatial and social consequences, what would be the implications of its gradual disappearance - which could be expected in the context of ecological consciousness, economic and energetic constraints as a result of both urban policies as well as lifestyle choices? To what extend shall urban experts account for this limited but visible transition from car-dominated systems towards alternative models of mobility in which the individual-motorized mobility (car) is not central; what models of urbanity could be imagined to support such a transformation? We have examined a selection of projects at different scales and within different contexts - new planned cities, dense urban areas or territories of dispersion – whose visions involve a significant shift from the current car system. We have been looking into their tools, strategies and different measures of car reduction, as well as their varied approaches to public space as an inevitable corollary to this change. The car’s dominance was formerly questioned by advocates of public space, rather than through interests in ecological urban design or other urban planning concerns. In the 60s already a universal longing for the qualities of traditional urban space led to a critique of the proliferation of fast roads, and thus the car’s colonization of everyday life. Reclamation of public space as the city’s quintessential social territory reappears today in contemporary discourses and reinforces the shift-provoking trends towards a new urbanity freed from car dominance. In a hypothetical process of the progressive phasing-out of the car, we shall expect fundamental transformations in spatial practices of the city, accompanied by the physical configuration of its public spaces. What will be the main characteristics of the new emerging spaces of sociability and where shall we encounter them? This contribution is an ongoing research within the framework of Post-Car World, an interdisciplinary project that explores the future of mobility through the role of the car.

Keywords: Mobility, urbanity, Public space, future visions

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21 Public Art and Public Space in an Emerging Knowledge Economy: The Case of Doha

Authors: Grichting Anna, Al Sada Sara, Caccayam Angelica, Khan Urshi

Abstract:

The Qatar Museums Authority recently announced a series of public art initiatives in Doha with the purpose of 'bringing art out of the walls of the museum' to make it accessible to the public on a daily basis and to encourage discussion and debate. While the installation of sculptures in public spaces is not new in Doha, the practice of integrating art in public spaces and architectural projects is reaching a new dimension as internationally renowned artists – such as Damien Hirst and Richard Serra - are being commissioned to install their works in the public spaces and buildings of the city of Doha as well as in more remote desert locations. This research discusses the changing presence, role and context of public art in Doha, both from a historical and cultural overview, and the different forms and media as well as the typologies of urban and public spaces in which the art is installed. It examines the process of implementing site-specific artworks, looking at questions of scale, history, social meaning and formal aesthetics. The methodologies combine theoretical research on the understanding of public art and its role and placement in public space, as well as empirical research on contemporary public art projects in Doha, based on documentation and interviews and as well as site and context analysis of the urban or architectural spaces within which the art is situated. Surveys and interviews – using social media - in different segments of the contemporary Qatari society, including all nationalities and social groups, are used to measure and qualify the impacts and effects on the population.

Keywords: Knowledge Economy, urban Design, Public Art, Public space

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20 Portuguese City Reconstructed from Public Space: The Example of the Requalification of Cacém Central Area

Authors: Rodrigo Coelho

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As several authors have pointed out (such as Jordi Borja, or Oriol Bohigas), the necessity to “make center” presents itself not only as a imperative response to deal with the processes of dissolution of peripheral urbanization, as it should be assumed, from the point of view its symbolic and functional meaning, as a key concept to think and act on the enlarged city. The notion of re-centralization (successfully applied in urban periphery recompositions, such as in Barcelona or Lyon), understood from the redefinition of mobility, the strengthening of core functions, and from the creation or consolidation of urban fabrics (always articulated with policies of creation and redevelopment of public spaces), seems to become one of the key strategies over the challenge of making the city on the “city periphery”. The question we want to address in this paper concerns, essentially, the importance of public space in the (re) construction of the contemporary "shapeless city” sectors (which, in general, we associate to urban peripheries). We will seek demonstrate, from the analysis of a Portuguese case study–The Cacém Central Area requalification, integrated in Polis Program (National Program for Urban Rehabilitation and Environmental Improvement of Cities, released in 1999 by the Portuguese government), the conditions under which the public space project can act, subsequently, in the urban areas of recent formation, where, in many situations, the public space did not have a structuring role in its urbanization, seeing its presence reduced to a residual character. More specifically, we intend to demonstrate with this example the methodological and urban design aspects that led to the regeneration of a disqualified and degraded urban area, by intervening consistently and profoundly in public space (with well defined objectives and criteria, and framed in a more comprehensive strategy, attentive to the various scales of urban design).

Keywords: urban Design, Urban Regeneration, Public space, urban and regional studies

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19 Art, Nature, and City in the Construction of Contemporary Public Space

Authors: Rodrigo Coelho

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We believe that in the majority of the “recent production of public space", the overvaluation of the "image", of the "ephemeral" and of the "objectual", has come to determine the configuration of banal and (more or less) arbitrary "public spaces", mostly linked to a problem of “outdoor decoration”, reflecting a clear sign of uncertainty and arbitrariness about the meaning, the role and shape of public space and public art.This "inconsistency" which is essentially linked to the loss of urban, but also social, cultural and political, vocation of the disciplines that “shape” the urban space (but is also linked to the lack of urban and technical culture of techinicians and policy makers) converted a significant set of the recently built "public space" and “urban art” into diffuse and multi-referenced pieces, which generally shares the inability of confering to the urban space, civic, aesthetic, social and symbolic meanings. In this sense we consider it is essential to undertake a theoretical reflection on the values, the meaning(s) and the shape(s) that open space, and urban art may (or must) take in the current urban and cultural context, in order to redeem for public space its status of significant physical reference, able to embody a spatial and urban identity, and simultaneously enable the collective accession and appropriation of public space. Taking as reference public space interventions built in the last decade on the European context, we will seek to explore and defend the need of considering public space as a true place of exception, an exceptional support where the emphasis is placed on the quality of the experience, especially by the relations public space/urban art can established with the city, with nature and geography in a broad sense, referring us back to a close and inseparable and timeless relationship between nature and culture.

Keywords: Art, City, Nature, Public space

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18 The Quality of Public Space in Mexico City: Current State and Trends

Authors: Mildred Moreno Villanueva

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Public space is essential to strengthen the social and urban fabric and the social cohesion; there lies the importance of its study. Hence, the aim of this paper is to analyze the quality of public space in the XXI century in both quantitative and qualitative terms. In this article, the concept of public space includes open spaces such as parks, public squares and walking areas. To make this analysis we take Mexico City as the case study. It has a population of nearly 9 million inhabitants and it is composed of sixteen boroughs. For this analysis, we consider both, existing public spaces and the government intervention for building and improvement of new and existent public spaces. Results show that on the one hand, quantitatively there is not an equitable distribution of public spaces because of both, the growth of the city itself, as well as for the absence of political will to create public spaces. Another factor is the evolution of this city, which has been growing merely in a 'patched pattern', where public space has played no role at all with a total absence of urban design. On the other hand, qualitatively, even the boroughs with the most public spaces have not shown interest in making these spaces qualitatively inclusive and open to the general population aiming for integration. Therefore, urban projects that privatize public space seem to be the rule, rather than a rehabilitation effort of the existent public spaces. Hence, state intervention should reinforce its role as an agent of social change acting in the benefit of the majority of the inhabitants with the promotion of more inclusive public spaces.

Keywords: Inclusion, Exclusion, Public space, Mexico City

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17 The Analysis on the Renewal Strategy of Public Space in Old Communities with an Example of GeDa Community in Xi'An

Authors: Xiyue Wen

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With the rapid development of the city, old communities in the city are facing a series of problems. On one hand, aging facilities, obsolete spatial patterns, aging populations arouse in the aging of the community. On the other hand, public space is reduced and is taking up by cars parking or facilities setting, which lead to the collapse of traditional life in the old communities. That is to say, modern amenities haven’t helped to reform the old community, but have leading to tedious and inefficient, when it is not accommodated in the traditional space. Exploring a way is imminent to the east the contradiction between modern living facilities and spatial patterns of traditional. We select a typical site-GeDa Community in Xi’an, built in 70-80s,and carry out a concept calling 'Raising Landscape', which enables a convenient and efficient space for parking, as well as a high-quality yard for activities. In addition, the design implements low cost, simple construction, resident participation, so that it can be spread in the same texture of urban space.

Keywords: Public space, old communities, renewal strategy, raising landscape, parking space

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16 Study on Renewal Strategy of Old District with an Example of SQ in Shenzhen

Authors: Wenju Li, Yun Zuo

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Shenzhen is one of China’s gates to the world. What was once a fishing village is now a metropolis of more than 10 million people. Because of its unprecedented pace of development, it also brings a serious of issues, such as the self-renewal of the city. In the paper, we use Sungang-Quingshuihe(SQ) as an example. SQ is one of the oldest districts in the east of Shenzhen. Nowadays, SQ faces many challenges. This is because once the logistics area has been slowly disappear, the new identity will be replaced. As a result, we are to minimize damages to the city in transforming process by seeking for a new design strategy. In the meantime, we think that each district in a city has its own role forming the whole city together. Therefore, a district transformation is functionally-oriented and for improving city quality in focus.

Keywords: Sustainable Development, Public space, old district, renewal strategy

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15 Inflating the Public: A Series of Urban Interventions

Authors: Veronika Antoniou, Rene Carraz, Yiorgos Hadjichristou

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The Green Urban Lab took the form of public installations that were placed at various locations in four cities in Cyprus. These installations - through which a series of events, activities, workshops and research took place - were the main tools in regenerating a series of urban public spaces in Cyprus. The purpose of this project was to identify issues and opportunities related to public space and to offer guidelines on how design and participatory democracy improvements could strengthen civil society, while raising the quality of the urban public scene. Giant inflatable structures were injected in important urban fragments in order to accommodate series of events. The design and playful installation generated a wide community engagement. The fluid presence of the installations acted as a catalyst for social interaction. They were accessed and viewed effortlessly and surprisingly, creating opportunities to rediscover public spaces.

Keywords: Social innovation, Creativity, Urban Environments, Public space, bottom-up initiatives

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14 Friendly Public Spaces in Iran

Authors: Bibi Somayeh Aliakbari, Niknaz Kachooei, Fatemeh Amiri Najafabadi

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According to the results of contemporary urbanism, social living moved into buildings and the quality of urban space has been declining. But still, there are life in open public space and it is one of reason attendance and activities of people in open public spaces.The purpose of this research is finding reason creation friendly public space in urban spaces and also use these in new urban spaces.The research methodology consisted of a qualitative model based on observation and graphical analysis. In this paper case study is public space historical, moderns in urban scales and local scales in Iran.This paper shows that Existence of friendly public space in cities cause is attendance and activities of people in open public spaces that it is reason the revitalization of public open spaces in cities.

Keywords: Public space, Iran, public open space, friendly public space

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13 Effect of Perception on People’s Behavior in Public Space

Authors: Morteza Maleki

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In the present study is that it tried to behave in the environment to be monitored and the respective roles of environment (assumed as a vessel) and human beings (assumed as occupants of this vessel) inevitably create effects which can be expressed as various behaviors on the part of human being. The mutual relationship between man and his environment is exhibited through perceptions, behaviors, subjective images, activities, etc. This study investigates the conceptual dimension in the form of the four components of readability, sense of place, identity, and Tenability (tenability) at the Ahmadabad Axis in Mashhad. The theoretical fundamentals and the data regarding the status quo were presented through the descriptive method and the proposed policies were derived through analyzing the available status quo information. The required data were gathered from library resources and documents related to the studied area as well as from instruments used in field methods such as questionnaires. Upon conducting the necessary investigation, the conceptual dimension within the design area was analyzed. The SWOT table was presented, and the results obtained for improving environmental perception were arranged in the form of policy-making tables and operational projects tables for improving the sense of place, creating imagery, and other investigated components.

Keywords: Perception, Environment, Behavior, Public space

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12 Connectivity: Connecting ActivityRethinking Streets as Public Space under the Six Dimensions of Urban Space Design in the Context of Bangladesh

Authors: Manal Anis, Bin Bakhti Sayeed

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With the encroachment of automobile upon our communities for decades and the concomitant urban sprawl resulting in a loss of public place, it was only a matter of time before people, realizing the role of streets in stimulating urban prosperity, would start reclaiming them to rebuild their communities. In order for this restoration of communities to take effect it is imperative that streets be freed from the dominance of motor vehicles. A holistic approach to pedestrian-friendly street environment can help build communities that embody the cities in which they are found. While the developed countries are finding more and more innovative ways to integrate walkable streets to foster communal living, the developing countries still have a long way to go. Since Dhaka is still struggling to balance the growing needs of accommodating automobiles for increased population with the loss of urban community life that comes with it, it is high time that alternate approaches are looked into. This study aims to understand streets as a living corridor through which one discovers and identifies with the city. The research area is chosen to be Manik Mia Avenue, overlooking the South Plaza of the National Parliament Building in Dhaka city. Being the site of supreme power, it is precisely this symbolic importance that the National Parliament Building has in the psyche of Bangladeshis, which has given Manik Mia Avenue a significant place in the country’s history. Above all, being an avenue it is essentially a neutral territory, universally accessible, inclusive and pluralist. The needs of the Avenue’s frequent users are analyzed with the help of a multi-method approach to survey consisting of an empirical study, a questionnaire survey and interview with relevant users. The research then tries to understand the concept of walkability by exploring the different ways in which the built environment influences walking. For this analysis, the six dimensions of Matthew Carmona are taken as a guideline for a holistic approach toward the different interacting facets of an urban public space. Based on the studies, a set of criteria is proposed to evaluate, plan and design streets that are more contextual in nature. The study concludes with how the existing street patterns of Dhaka city can be rethought and redesigned to cater to peoples’ need for a public place. The proposal is meant to be an inspiration for further studies in this respect in the context of Bangladesh.

Keywords: Urban, Walkability, Public space, street, six dimensions

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11 Applying Big Data to Understand Urban Design Quality: The Correlation between Social Activities and Automated Pedestrian Counts in Dilworth Park, Philadelphia

Authors: Jae Min Lee

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Presence of people and intensity of activities have been widely accepted as an indicator for successful public spaces in urban design literature. This study attempts to predict the qualitative indicators, presence of people and intensity of activities, with the quantitative measurements of pedestrian counting. We conducted participant observation in Dilworth Park, Philadelphia to collect the total number of people and activities in the park. Then, the participant observation data is compared with detailed pedestrian counts at 10 exit locations to estimate the number of park users. The study found that there is a clear correlation between the intensity of social activities and automated pedestrian counts.

Keywords: Computer Vision, urban Design, Public space, automated pedestrian count

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10 A Review on the Perception of Beşiktaş Public Square

Authors: Neslinur Hizli, Berrak Kirbaş Akyürek

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Beşiktaş, one of the historical coastal district of İstanbul, is on the very edge of the radical transformation because of an approaching ‘Beşiktaş Public Square Project’. At this juncture, due its location, presence on the coast, population density and distance to the other centers of the city, the decisions to be taken are critical to whole Istanbul that will be majorly affected from this transformation. As the new project aims to pedestrianize the area by placing the vehicular traffic under the ground, Beşiktaş and its square will change from top to bottom. Among those considerations, through the advantages and disadvantages the perception of the existing conditions of the Beşiktaş play significant role. The motive of this paper is the lack of determination and clarity on the cognition of the Square. After brief analysis on the historical transformation of the area, prominent studies on the criteria of public square are revised. Through cognitive mapping methodology, characteristics of the Square and the public space in general find a place to discuss from individual views. This study aims to discuss and review Beşiktaş Public Square from perspective, mind and behavior of the users. Cognitive map study with thirty subjects (30) is evaluated and categorized upon the five elements that Kevin Lynch defined as the images of the city. The results obtained digitized and represented with tables and graphs. Findings of the research underline the crucial issues on the approaching change in Beşiktaş. Thus, this study may help to develop comprehensive ideas and new suggestions on the Square.

Keywords: Perception, Public space, cognitive map, Beşiktaş public square

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9 The Effectiveness of Tehran Municipality's Transformation of a Metro Station into Pedestrian-Friendly Public Spaces

Authors: Homa Hedayat

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Public spaces have been a central concern of urban planners for centuries but have been neglected for a long time. In the modernist planning, the focus has been on the requirements of cars rather than the needs and expectations of pedestrians, and therefore, cities have lost many qualities. Urban public space is a space within the city area which is accessible to all people and is the ground for their activity. People’s public life occurs in urban public spaces in a complex set of forms and functions. These spaces must facilitate diverse behavior, uses, and activities such as shopping, walking, conversation, entertainment, relaxation or even passing the time during festivities and events. One of the public spaces is the surrounding space of public transportation stations. Subway stations, although potentially encompass many different groups of people accommodate few social interactions. Making the surrounding areas of subway stations pedestrian-oriented, potentially increases the socialization capacity. The Sadeghieh Subway Station can be considered as the most important subway station in Tehran, which on the one hand is the rail port of Tehran's western entrance, and on the other is the port for railway journeys inside the city. The main concern of this study is to assess the success or failure of the interventions made by the municipality for changing the surrounding area of the Sadeghieh Subway Station into a pedestrian-oriented space and examine the amount of the area's improvement into a desirable space. The method used in this study is surveying, in which the data were collected using a questionnaire and interview. The study's population is all people who use Sadeghieh Subway, and the sample size for the study was 140 subjects. Using parametric one-sample t-test, we found improvement in factors such as transportation, security, pedestrian infrastructure, vitality and climate comfort. However, there was no improvement in mix use, recreational activity, readability.

Keywords: socialization, Public space, public transportation stations, pedestrian-oriented space

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8 Research on the Updating Strategy of Public Space in Small Towns in Zhejiang Province under the Background of New-Style Urbanization

Authors: Chen Yao, Wang Ke

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Small towns are the most basic administrative institutions in our country, which are connected with cities and rural areas. Small towns play an important role in promoting local urban and rural economic development, providing the main public services and maintaining social stability in social governance. With the vigorous development of small towns and the transformation of industrial structure, the changes of social structure, spatial structure, and lifestyle are lagging behind, causing that the spatial form and landscape style do not belong to both cities and rural areas, and seriously affecting the quality of people’s life space and environment. The rural economy in Zhejiang Province has started, the society and the population are also developing in relative stability. In September 2016, Zhejiang Province set out the 'Technical Guidelines for Comprehensive Environmental Remediation of Small Towns in Zhejiang Province,' so as to comprehensively implement the small town comprehensive environmental remediation with the main content of strengthening the plan and design leading, regulating environmental sanitation, urban order and town appearance. In November 2016, Huzhou City started the comprehensive environmental improvement of small towns, strived to use three years to significantly improve the 115 small towns, as well as to create a number of high quality, distinctive and beautiful towns with features of 'clean and livable, rational layout, industrial development, poetry and painting style'. This paper takes Meixi Town, Zhangwu Town and Sanchuan Village in Huzhou City as the empirical cases, analyzes the small town public space by applying the relative theory of actor-network and space syntax. This paper also analyzes the spatial composition in actor and social structure elements, as well as explores the relationship of actor’s spatial practice and public open space by combining with actor-network theory. This paper introduces the relevant theories and methods of spatial syntax, carries out research analysis and design planning analysis of small town spaces from the perspective of quantitative analysis. And then, this paper proposes the effective updating strategy for the existing problems in public space. Through the planning and design in the building level, the dissonant factors produced by various spatial combination of factors and between landscape design and urban texture during small town development will be solved, inhabitant quality of life will be promoted, and town development vitality will be increased.

Keywords: Urbanization, Public space, small towns, updating

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7 An Investigation of the Influence of the Iranian 1979 Revolution on Tehran’s Public Art

Authors: M. Sohrabi Narciss

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Urban spaces of Tehran, the capital of Iran, have witnessed many revolts, movements, and protests during the past few decades. After the Iranian Constitutional Revolution, the 1979 Revolution has had a profound impact on Tehran’s urban space. In 1979, the world watched as Iranians demonstrated en masse against the Pahlavi dynastdy which eventually led to its overthrow. Tehran’s public space is replete with images and artwork that depict the overthrow of the Pahlavi regime and the establishment of an Islamic government in Iran. The public artworks related to the 1979 Islamic Revolution reflect the riots, protests, and strikes that the Iranians underwent during the revolution. Many of these artworks try to revitalize the events that occurred in the 1970s by means of collective memory. Almost 4 decades have passed since the revolution and ever since the public artwork has been affected either directly or indirectly by the Iran-Iraq War, the Green Movement, and the rise and fall of various political forces. The present study is an attempt to investigate Tehran’s urban artwork such as urban sculptures and mural paintings organized and supervised by the government and the graffiti drawn by the critics or the opposition groups. To this end, in addition to the available documents, field research and questionnaires were used to qulaitatively analyze the data. This paper tries to address the following questions: 1) what changes have occurred in Tehran’s urban art? 2) Does the public, revolution-related artwork have an effect on people’s vitality? 3) do Iranians find these artworks appealing or not?

Keywords: Movement, Public Art, Public space, Islamic Revolution, Tehran

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6 Window Seat: Examining Public Space, Politics, and Social Identity through Urban Public Transportation

Authors: Sabrina Howard

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'Window Seat' uses public transportation as an entry point for understanding the relationship between public space, politics, and social identity construction. This project argues that by bringing people of different races, classes, and genders in 'contact' with one another, public transit operates as a site of exposure, as people consciously and unconsciously perform social identity within these spaces. These performances offer a form of freedom that we associate with being in urban spaces while simultaneously rendering certain racialized, gendered, and classed bodies vulnerable to violence. Furthermore, due to its exposing function, public transit operates as a site through which we, as urbanites and scholars, can read social injustice and reflect on the work that is necessary to become a truly democratic society. The major questions guiding this research are: How does using public transit as the entry point provide unique insights into the relationship between social identity, politics, and public space? What ideas do Americans hold about public space and how might these ideas reflect a liberal yearning for a more democratic society? To address these research questions, 'Window Seat' critically examines ethnographic data collected on public buses and trains in Los Angeles, California, and online news media. It analyzes these sources through literature in socio-cultural psychology, sociology, and political science. It investigates the 'everyday urban hero' narrative or popular news stories that feature an individual or group of people acting against discriminatory or 'Anti-American' behavior on public buses and trains. 'Window Seat' studies these narratives to assert that by circulating stories of civility in news media, United Statsians construct and maintain ideas of the 'liberal city,' which is characterized by ideals of freedom and democracy. Furthermore, for those involved, these moments create an opportunity to perform the role of the Good Samaritan, an identity that is wrapped up in liberal beliefs in diversity and inclusion. This research expands conversations in urban studies by making a case for the political significance of urban public space. It demonstrates how these sites serve as spaces through which liberal beliefs are circulated and upheld through identity performance.

Keywords: Liberalism, public transportation, Social identity, Public space

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5 Connotation Reform and Problem Response of Rural Social Relations under the Influence of the Earthquake: With a Review of Wenchuan Decade

Authors: Yanqun Li, Hong Geng

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The occurrence of Wenchuan earthquake in 2008 has led to severe damage to the rural areas of Chengdu city, such as the rupture of the social network, the stagnation of economic production and the rupture of living space. The post-disaster reconstruction has become a sustainable issue. As an important link to maintain the order of rural social development, social network should be an important content of post-disaster reconstruction. Therefore, this paper takes rural reconstruction communities in earthquake-stricken areas of Chengdu as the research object and adopts sociological research methods such as field survey, observation and interview to try to understand the transformation of rural social relations network under the influence of earthquake and its impact on rural space. It has found that rural societies under the earthquake generally experienced three phases: the break of stable social relations, the transition of temporary non-normal state, and the reorganization of social networks. The connotation of phased rural social relations also changed accordingly: turn to a new division of labor on the social orientation, turn to a capital flow and redistribution in new production mode on the capital orientation, and turn to relative decentralization after concentration on the spatial dimension. Along with such changes, rural areas have emerged some social issues such as the alienation of competition in the new industry division, the low social connection, the significant redistribution of capital, and the lack of public space. Based on a comprehensive review of these issues, this paper proposes the corresponding response mechanism. First of all, a reasonable division of labor should be established within the villages to realize diversified commodity supply. Secondly, the villages should adjust the industrial type to promote the equitable participation of capital allocation groups. Finally, external public spaces should be added to strengthen the field of social interaction within the communities.

Keywords: Social Relations, Public space, capital allocation, social support networks, industrial division

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4 Public Space, Environmental Violence and Female Vulnerability in Radwa Ashour’s Specters and Betool Khadiri’s Absent

Authors: Jihan Zakarriya

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This paper aims at examining the concepts of gender vulnerability, militarized spaces and environmental degradation in Egyptian novelist Radwa Ashour’s Specters (1999) and Iraqi novelist Betool Khadiri’s Absent (2005). Although the socio-economic, environmental and political conditions in the 1990s- Egypt and Iraq are different, this paper argues that Ashour’s Specters and Khadiri’s Absent show the two societies as sharing a concern with the politics of public participation, individual freedom and political violence. For example, while Specters exposes the planned processes of economic-political and cultural violence towards Egyptian environment and people that undermine concepts of justice, equality and democracy, Absent shows the destructive effects of the systematic, successive waves of (international) militarized interferences and socio-economic sanctions imposed on Iraq following the Gulf War that hinder efforts of social development and kindle ethnic-religious violence and polarization in the country. This paper investigates and relates issues of gender, environmental and political violence and repression in Ashour’s Specters and Khadiri’s Absent in relation to the concepts of public space and security in the two countries. The paper argues that the selected novels articulate a particular awareness of the political-international conflicts and difficulties in the 1990s-Egypt and Iraq, with the aim both to emphasize the issue of gender as a tool of oppression and power hierarchy worldwide and to figure out new notions of public participation and change.

Keywords: Environment, Change, Public space, gender violence

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3 Evaluating the Relationship between Neighbourhood Satisfaction and Urban Safety: The Case Study of Riverwood, Sydney

Authors: Samaneh Arasteh

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Neighbourhood satisfaction and safety are the two main components of urban life and have a substantial impact on residents’ quality of life. The relationship between these two components, especially in areas surrounding our individual private dwellings, is highly influential on many social, economic, and wellbeing activities that may benefit neighbourhood residents. Neighbourhood and urban design – which are liable to be affected by the perceived quality of local public spaces – are likely to be significant factors influencing broader residents’ feelings of safety. With this in mind, this study reviews recent normative literature on how these design processes have influenced neighbourhood satisfaction including perceived safety with a focus on different aspects of public spaces including planning, management, and design in a mix-tenure neighbourhood. Following the study aim, Riverwood in Sydney’s southwest was chosen as a case study to gain a detailed understanding of the context by engaging with community members, residents, non-government organisations, and experts. Moreover, archival studies on neighbourhood satisfaction and safety, expert interviews, and resident questionnaires are presented to shed light on the relationship between neighbourhood satisfaction and perception of safety. The study argues that for the safer neighbourhood in urban areas, social-cultural factors need to be aligned toward strengthening physical factors and since making the environments safer, it is important to understand practical and achievable mechanisms which are required to improve existing estates. Findings show that increasing the clarity of community social and physical environmental involvements can promote residents’ feelings of safety and following neighbourhood satisfaction.

Keywords: Public space, neighbourhood satisfaction, Riverwood, urban safety

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2 Beyond Informality: Relocation from a Traditional Village 'Mit Oqbah' to Masaken El-Barageel and the Role of ‘Urf in Governing Built Environment, Egypt

Authors: Sarah Eldefrawi, Maike Didero

Abstract:

In Egypt, residents’ urban interventions (colloquially named A’hali’s interventions) are always tackled by government, scholars, and media as an encroachment (taeadiyat), chaotic (a’shwa’i) or informal (gheir mokanan) practices. This paper argues that those interventions cannot be simply described as an encroachment on public space or chaotic behaviour. We claim here that they are relevant to traditional governing methods (‘Urf) that were governing Arab cities for many decades. Through an in-depth field study conducted in a real estate public housing project in the city of Giza called 'Masaken El-Barageel', we traced the urban transformations demonstrated in private and public spaces. To understand those transformations, we used wide-range of qualitative research methods such as semi-guided and informal interviews, observations and mapping of the built environment and the newly added interventions. This study was as well strengthened through the contributions of the author in studying nine sectors emerging by Ahali in six districts in Great Cairo. The results of this study indicate that a culturally and socially sensitive framework has to be related to the individual actions toward the spatial and social structures as well as to culturally transmitted views and meanings connected with 'Urf'. The study could trace three crucial principals in ‘urf that influenced these interventions; the eliminating of harm (Al-Marafiq wa Man’ al-Darar), the appropriation of space (Haqq el-Intefa’) and public interest (maslaha a’ma). Our findings open the discussion for the (il) legitimate of a’hali governing methods in contemporary cities.

Keywords: Chaotic, Public space, Urban Governance, public housing, Urf, encroachments, Egyptian cities

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1 Research on the Path of Renewal and Activation of Public Space in Guangzhou Historical City under the Guidance of Public Art

Authors: Jingjing Li, Shifu Wang

Abstract:

After the irreversible consequences of the traditional renewal mode of ‘function first and then beautification’, such as the constructive destruction, social differentiation, and cultural, ecological imbalance, the renewal of the historical urban area began to pay attention to the excavation of cultural connotation, and entered a new stage from the pursuit of ‘quantity’ growth to the promotion of ‘quality’, expecting to rejuvenate the old city through the intervention of public art. This paper interprets the cases at home and abroad, summarizes the different forms of expression and application strategies of public art in the renewal of historical urban areas, and combs the limitations of the existing practice in Guangzhou through observation. Finally, it puts forward suggestions from three aspects of the system, implementation strategy, and implementation path, respectively, and explores the path of simultaneous rejuvenation of material space and cultural space in historical urban areas under the intervention of public art.

Keywords: Public Art, Public space, historic city, renewal activation

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