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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
A short documentary commissioned by The Architectural Review
presents the case of the Parque Novo San Amaro V neighbourhood in São Paulo, a zone where a new housing complex was constructed to replace the favelas. The residents now had much better living conditions but then they wanted to close the gates so that only they could have access to the zone. Do these “security” measures bring improvements to the quality of life and public space?
The CentroCentro Cibeles
in Madrid will be exhibiting until 30 December the points of view of ten women architects who, in documentary video-interview format, will share their experiences, opinions and information on what it’s like to work in an increasingly feminised sector in Spain, where women constitute more than 50% of graduates every year and yet recognition of women is still a minority matter.
The recent attacks in Paris have prompted all kinds of reactions. One has been to declare a state of exception in France and thereby focusing unprecedented attention on the light and dark aspects of public safety measures, fear and trust, and directly affecting the regulation of public space and the behaviour of citizens therein. This article describes the importance of shared spaces for democracy and emphasises the need to keep trusting the stranger, especially right now.
Some weeks ago we published an article by CCCBLab
about the need for playing. In Brazil, the “Basurama
” collective, which manages cultural events, took part in the 2013 “Virada Cultural” (Cultural Turning) festival by hanging dozens of swings from a well-known viaduct for “children from 0 to 99 years” to play on. Citizens could then experience how the city and public space can also be used for amusement and diversion.
The Aedes Architecture Forum of Berlin organised the debate “Taksim, Tahrir, Occupy Co” in which speakers from different fields conceptually explored the political meaning of urban space and also discussed how certain events and dynamics in these places can influence international politics. This event was part of the cycle “The Politics of Spatial Practice
”, the second session of which is to take place on 26 November.
The Spanish capital has embarked on a package of measures against the city’s high pollution levels. These include no parking in the city centre and speed limits on motorways leading into town. This is the second part of a four-phase plan to reduce traffic in the city centre by 50%. Commercial and ecological vehicles will be exempt from these measures which will be complemented by expanded public transport services.