Urban Public Space

2593 Words11 Pages
Le Corbusier was serious when he suggested that a “truly modern street will be as well equipped as a factory. In this street, the best equipped model is the most thoroughly automised with no people except for those operating machines. In the city of the future, cafes and places of recreation [public space] will no longer be the fungus that eats up the pavements of [the city] the macadam will belong to the traffic alone” (See Figure 1). This comment seems drastic, though as the modern world develops into a society that is more introverted and private, these spaces of public display and freedom, one day may turn into those envisioned. Throughout history, public space has formed the backdrop to public life, accessible for all, for both commercial and social exchange. While public spaces can take many forms, the common grounds on which they stand is general. It’s where people have gathered for centuries through the presence of music, art, food, discussion and festive celebrations or simply a place for a person to purely exist. Whether the public space comes in a form of streets, squares, parks or public buildings, it is in these places where the drama of communal life & human social exchange unfolds (Slessor 2001, Perrem, 2011 & Carr, 1992). Needs of these types of spaces have been displayed throughout history and their existence has defined and shaped the cities at the centre of their social organization (Cuthbert 2003 & Slessor, 2001). Today, the private places of work, domestic life and technology advances in movement and communication are consuming the essential counterpart of private existence (Cuthbert, 2003) Society lives in a very nine-to-five characterization which has created a large separation of public and private spher... ... middle of paper ... ... onto the whole of society. When public space for public life is neglected, people become isolated, eroding any sense of communal sprit and cohesion in a community (Slessor 2001). Excessive neglect may create this vision. Although, as our cities and lifestyles change so do our definitions of public space. Original concepts of form and function are being replaces as we claw back every available corner into the public realm, is it possible to find new ways to spend our leisure time in the public urban environment? (Gaventa 2003). It is evident with further research that the recent attitude towards public space is beginning to alter. Expressed by A.E.J Morris “In terms of town planning the [public space] represents the purest and most immediate expression of man’s fight against being lost in a gelatinous world, in a disorderly mass of urban dwellings’’(Perrem 2011).
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