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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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    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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    Closing the Gates of the Favalas. Solution or More Problems?

    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?
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    The Gender Viewpoint: The Female Condition in Architecture.

    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.
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    Democratic Public Spaces Holding out against Terrorism:

    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.
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    The City Is for Playing in São Paulo

    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.
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    The Political Meaning of Urban Space

    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.
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    Madrid: Traffic Restriction, Scenario 2

    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.
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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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