This key concept concerns research about the role and perception of monuments in public spaces. Such monuments can include statues, art pieces, or structures built for the purpose of commemorating a person, people or event.
Public spaces have a central role, both physically and functionally, in urban planning and development. Many urban theorists state their significant role as one of the principal components of a healthy urban setting. This is in addition to their functional role, when they increase a sense of community when intensive social interaction takes place in these areas. However, recently, they have started to lose significance, when they are neglected in the urban planning process, or when existing spaces are lost. Additionally, accessibility and utilization of these areas decreases, since public spaces are neglected in urban planning and development processes. In this study, public spaces are assessed in terms of accessibility and utilization, regarding the effects of rapid urban growth on their physical and functional structure. This study first evaluates the significance of public spaces in an urban setting; second, determines the variables effective in terms of their accessibility and utilization; third, assesses the factors affecting the accessibility and utilization of public spaces through a questionnaire survey on the role of public spaces in social interaction, and concludes with an evaluation of the results and suggestions for further research.
In the 1990s, the Georgian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli triggered a furor over the millions of tax dollars the Moscow city government paid him for his monumental art installations around the Russian capital. Critics have assailed such gross expenditure in a period of economic privation, questioned the propriety of Tsereteli's ties to power, and ridiculed his often cartoon-like aesthetics. In the embattled new Russian state, this infantilization of public space through government-sponsored art reprises a familiar discourse of timeless
innocence in the service of state power.
This essay considers public art practice in post-apartheid Cape Town within the notion of symbolic reparations—a concept deriving out of South Africa’s Trust Reconciliation Commission. The paper situates developments in public arts practice in the context of developments in cultural politics in South Africa and globally. More especially, it discusses new genre arts projects, which focus on a range of issues related to identity, space and place. The projects—the District Six Museum, District Six Sculpture Project, PTO, Y30, BLAC, Returning the Gaze, and the In Touch Poetry Bus Tour—focus on issues such as rethinking monuments, the memorialising of ‘hidden histories’, engagements with racism and the abuse of power, and the reimagining of the city. The paper asks how these contemporary and often ephemeral projects, critically engage with issues of history, geography, memory and transformation and, in so doing, mark the landscape of Cape Town, making spaces for dialogue and/or standing as poetic symbols and challenges to the inequalities of the city.
This article explores the public spaces of Laredo, a city situated on the border of the United States and Mexico along the Rio Grande. The construction of urban history is shaped by changes in public space—its physical settings, access to residents, and utilization by people. The author analyzes the transformation of public spaces and public events of Laredo to trace how amnesia and remembering are reflected in the cityscape. Public events reproduce assorted versions of urban history and help scholars to locate what part of history is preserved and what part is erased in the collective psyche of the community. The visual history of public spaces and events thus conserves a narration of the past, one that shapes collective memory and self-image.
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (2006)
A great deal is at issue in the handling of the threat of terrorism in the United States today. Restrictions on the use of public space are a direct consequence, at the urban level, of what is happening. But beyond that, and beyond the various abuses of civil liberties and common sense that have been involved in the governmental misuse of the threat after 9/11, the most serious misuse may be the sale of the threat as a threat to existential security instead of as one danger among others to public safety. It has been manipulated for purposes having nothing to do with terrorism. The intended result has been to reinforce the positions of those in power, to displace the insecurity inherent in a capitalist free market system, and to limit further the freedom that is at the heart of the right to the city. The current treatment of public space illustrates the process.
A recent approach to place development is to construct integrated systems for managing cultural and identity
resources so that they can be enjoyed through ‘experiential itineraries’. These itineraries are designed on the basis of
a survey of existing heritage, with a view to support creative industries or to help develop new ones. Visitor
experience of a place can be further enhanced and virtualised using smart technologies. The aim of this paper is to
illustrate the studies on experiential itineraries. The studies are rooted in the disciplines of psychology and economy,
and, more recently, in disciplines that study places. The author proposes an analysis and design software tool for
identification and enhancement of cultural and identity resources. The tool is a dynamic and interactive platform for
complex and sensitive management of qualitative data of a place. It is conceived as a single platform with different
entry points, both private and public, for local authorities, professionals and citizens. The paper concludes with a
brief presentation of case studies carried out in the historical centres of Palestrina and Gaeta in Italy, both
characterised by low-impact tourism. The main objective of these studies was to achieve smart experiential
knowledge of a place allowing sustainable enjoyment of its resources.
Art in public space in South Africa is
increasingly a more visible locus of sociopolitical resistance and recalibration
of the public sphere. This article focuses upon an emblematic example: the sculpture of a former colonialist, removed from its public university site in Cape Town following sustained protests. Since April 2015, the
empty plinth of Cecil John Rhodes has become a site of re-imagination – from graffiti interventions to performance and installation art. While the plinth continually morphs in symbolism and significance, its ousted artwork
waits at an undisclosed location for its fate to be decided. This interregnum represents a liminal condition that theorists call ‘third space’, extended in this research towards a fourth dimension of performativity. The
physical disappearance of the artwork has triggered a second life, its apogee a national protest movement with global resonance. Rhodes Must Fall and Fees Must Fall are student-led calls for university decolonisation and free education arguably best understood as provocation around systemic issues in society. As this deeper work ensues amid fractious contestations, the artwork's re-animation of the public sphere is clear. Its leftover plinth is political, making visible other kinds of structural voids. It is also poetic: a zombie monument demonstrating
through its reinventions public space as common space – contested, negotiated and performed in the daily creation of city futures.