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Periscope

The section Periscope brings together links for websites with information concerning public space and the city, including the publication of books, articles and opinion pieces, seminars and lectures, and calls for entries in competitions or for prizes, among other themes. This overview of the general background of the European Prize for Urban Public Space aims to identify the most significant issues pertaining to public space and its most outstanding agents around the world.
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    New Urban Activism in Madrid

    After the economic crisis in Spain, there is hope on social movements: “Their innovation, use of modern tools, and focus on engaged citizenry is remaking the field of urbanism into something that serves citizens better and prioritizes public good over private gain.”
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    Mexico City Declaration for Habitat III

    How to go about financing the New Urban Agenda is one of the main issues that will be addressed in the Habitat III United Nations Conference. According to the Mexico City Declaration, sustainable cities-financing requires that local governments take a seat at the global table and calls for local governments to be empowered to finance urban development recognizing that cities are “reliable partners” for investment.
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    Policy: Urban Physics

    As cities become larger and more complex, the work of urban planners has become more difficult. In the journal Nature we find a reflection on how interdisciplinary work, systems thinking and the inclusion of resident’s tacit knowledge about the city together can provide with crucial information to improve the cities’ health and the inhabitant’s well-being.
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    Prisons and Public Space

    Today, Garrett Felber reflects on the relationship between the prisons and the public at the Institute for Public Knowledge (New York University). The panelist will explore notions of the community prison from the 1930s-1950s, Muslim prison organizing in the 1960s, and our current moment, “the punitive turn”, of prison privatization and mass incarceration.
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    The complex representations of working-class residential towers

    Demolition of decaying housing complexes in the cities’ suburbs in France is a widespread practice preceding urban renewal. Nevertheless, using the case  of the Plain-Ciel tower in Saint Étienne (Lyon) as an example, this article shows how complex systems of representations give new meanings to the built environment. From the symbol of post-war progress and modernity, through the image of decay, Plain-Ciel finally came to be seen as a “monument rooted in the Saint Étienne landscape”.
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    Rio de Janeiro: Building the Olympic City

    In spite of the elaboration by activists and experts of a Popular Plan that would ensure the coexistence of the informal community with the new Olympic Park, bulldozing, forced evictions and police brutality have been part of everyday-life in the community of Vila Autòdromo, ever since the start of the Olympic works.
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    On how automobiles took over the streets

    This short video by the American comedians “College Humor” explains how, one century ago, cars started taking over streets that had previously been spaces open to the public. In spite of the popular protests against the dangers of the motorized vehicles, corporate marketing strategies managed to convince urban dwellers that they no longer owned the streets.
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    The abyss of private car

    This illustration by the artist Karl Jilg, commissioned by the Swedish Road Administration, expresses how far public space in our cities is surrendered to the hegemony of private car.
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    Silence!

    Miera Street, Riga (Latvia). Cyclists and pedestrians must comply with narrow sidewalks as cars occupy most of the street. But, what if the street was once again a space for effective mobility and social life? "Mierīgi!" (Silence!), a performance by Fine Young Urbanists.
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    “My Square Is My Garden”

    “Play Tag” is the public space project which has won the Chile-wide competition “My Square Is My Garden”. The aim of the initiative is to gather ideas for improving the quality of life in neighbourhoods with an emphasis on harmonious coexistence. “Play Tag” is a minimalist project focusing on movement and providing facilities for games and leisure activities. The project has received a sum of $6 million, two million for the authors and four million to carry it out.
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