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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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    31 October: World Cities Day

    The United Nations has designated the last day of October as World Cities Day with the aim of encouraging interest among the international community in global urbanisation and meeting the challenges it presents in order to create more sustainable cities. The general theme of the day was “Better city, better life” and, this year’s theme, when the event was held in Milan, was “Designed to live together”.
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    Reclaiming the City through Play:

    The ever-increasing numbers of people living in cities are giving rise to more and more challenges of how to manage these great urban agglomerations. The new technologies can hold out solutions but they also entail the risk of dehumanisation and loss of contact among citizens. This article from the CCCB Lab shows how these technologies can be used for playing in public spaces thus encouraging social exchanges and interaction among the people.
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    Data and Citizenship: What Future Lies in Store for Us?

    From 30 October to 29 November, the Museum of Architecture and Design (Ljubljana) will be the venue of the "City Data Future” exhibition, which shows what it might be like to live in cities saturated with data and how this new situation might change the citizen’s relationship with urban spaces. It therefore raises questions about the monitoring of our activities and what new rituals could appear in public space.
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    “POPS: Public Use of Urban Space”

     “POPS” is an acronym deriving from “Privately Owned Public Space”. These places, frequently regulated by restrictive, non-democratic laws, tend to lose their sense as meeting places. Elke Schlack (Andrés Bello University, Santiago de Chile) has edited this book about how regulations influence the production and proliferation of POPS in American and Japanese cities, analysing them from the points of view of all those concerned and reflecting on urban planning practice in these locations.
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    The “Cities Connection Project”

    The architects Nicola Regusci and Xavier Bustos have initiated the “Cities Connection Project” (CCP) which seeks to bring together different cities so as to generate synergies among their key actors. These events, called “connections”, take the form of an exhibition in Barcelona followed by a second event in an invited city, with emphasis on its special characteristics. The CCCB is to be the venue for a coming event connecting housing initiatives in Zurich and Barcelona.
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    Reviving Disused Metro Stations

    With the passage of time, some spaces can fall into disuse. A week ago we wrote about new uses for abandoned industrial land in France and today’s theme is an original initiative for the Paris Metro. The “Oxo Architects” studio has come up with a proposal for converting ghost stations into places with gardens, leisure zones and even swimming pools, thus giving them new meaning as public spaces.
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    Plaça Rojas Clemente: Recovering Public Space for People

    Plaça Rojas Clemente is a square in Valencia near the old city centre which, although it has a market and its own history, has considerably deteriorated after being designated as a blue zone in the 1960s, after which it became little more than a parking zone. Now, under the auspices of the “Districto 008” urban festival, there is a plan to revitalise the area in order to combat the bad regulation of public space and rectify the situation.
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    The School of Abducted Europe: Talks in Kiev

    Ukraine has been a focus of attention during the last year. The Maidan revolt and tensions in a country caught between the powers of Russia and the European Union have brought about new political realities. The Kiev Biennial is reflecting on many of these crucial issues, among them public space. Masha Zrncic, coordinator of the Prize, has taken part in the discussion with her account of the lessons that can be learned from our conception of public space.
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    Carlo Scarpa International Prize 2015 is presented in Granada

    The Carlo Scarpa Award for the garden will have a presentation at the Alhambra in Granada, which will include lectures about the 2015 awarded project: The landscape of Maredolce-La Favara, in Palermo. It is a garden of twelfth century; build under the Arab and Norman influence in Sicily and it is a place that has not been altered with the urban growth of the city. This event is seeking to think about landscape in public space and water’s important role in Islamic architecture.
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    Barcelona, an Example of the “Market City”

    The market has always had a very important role to play in society but, in recent decades, outlets selling everyday food items have lost ground to supermarkets. This article published by “Project for Public Spaces” (PPS) upholds the market as a key element of public space and a tool for combatting social inequality and achieving better distribution of resources. Barcelona is presented here as an example to follow in projects seeking to revitalise markets.
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