Banerjee, T. (1). The Future of Public Space:Beyond Invented Streets and Reinvented Places. Journal of the American Planning Association, 67(1), 9–24. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01944360108976352
We worry these days that public space, indeed the public realm, is shrinking. This essay examines the underlying causes of such discontent, in the context of historic and recent transformations in social values and public ethos. Seemingly, three major trends - privatization, globalization, and the communications revolution - will continue to shape the future demand and supply of public space. Planners must anticipate the effects of such trends, but also focus on the concept of public life, which encompasses both private and public realms. The article concludes by reviewing the role that planners may play in advancing the cause of public space and the opportunities and initiatives for the future.
The author notes that the fundamental shifts in the manner in which the public realm has been traditionally conceptualized - shrinking of the public realm, blurring distinction between the public and the private, and public life increasingly will occur in private places or in cyberspace - the demand for parks, playgrounds, and urban open spaces will continue to increase, especially in inner-city neighborhoods with increasing numbers of school-age children and senior citizens. The author suggests that planners should engage in advocacy for parks and open spaces by mediating between the public, private, and nonprofit sectors and focusing on the concept of public life rather than public spaces.
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