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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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    Making Public Space Ours

    This text brings together several questions which arose in a video conference between three professionals who shared their experiences of working with public space. This Bogota-Barcelona conversation took place in April 2015 and the participants spoke about different projects that are self-managed by local residents, appropriation of space and its artistic, political and protest uses, thereby generating key themes which make it possible to think about urban space as a loudspeaker for, and catalyst of citizens’ concerns.
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    Construct Collectively: Participation in Architecture and Urban Planning

    The architects’ group La Col plans to publish a book compiling participative methodologies for constructing a city and its buildings. It is to have three sections: a theoretical framework (consisting of “Transversal Landscape”, “Public Reasons” and “The Point 6 Collective”), a manual of methodologies, and selected case studies. The project is presently being financed by crowdfunding.
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    How We Live Together: Actions for Receiving Newcomers

    Several young architects in Berlin have embarked on the “How We Live Together” project in order to deal with challenges and alleviate difficulties associated with the arrival of newcomers from communities of different cultures, languages and kinds of society. With public space as one of their organising principles, they will be engaged in activities from October 2015 to May 2016, these including working sessions, walking around together, and talks featuring personalities from the city and refugees. The experience will later be written up and published in book form.
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    “Urban Age 10” Global Debates

    Together with the Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society and with support from Guardian Cities, the London School of Economics is organising the “Urban Age 10” cycle of debates with the aim of discussing five themes of major importance in present-day urban planning. Leading experts will discuss policies combating climate change, sustainability, infrastructure and how to achieve more open, tolerant and inclusive cities and neighbourhoods. The debates will be held from 19 November to 3 December and will be streamed online.
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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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