Download Common Ground?: Readings and Reflections on Public Space by Anthony M. Orum, Zachary P. Neal PDF

By Anthony M. Orum, Zachary P. Neal

Public areas have lengthy been the point of interest of city social task, yet investigations of ways public area works usually undertake just one of a number of attainable views, which restricts the questions that may be requested and the solutions that may be thought of. during this quantity, Anthony Orum and Zachary Neal discover how public house could be a facilitator of civil order, a domain for strength and resistance, and a level for artwork, theatre, and function. they create jointly those often unconnected types for figuring out public house, accumulating vintage and modern readings that illustrate every one, and synthesizing them in a sequence of unique essays. all through, they provide inquiries to impress dialogue, and finish with suggestions on how those versions should be mixed via destiny students of public house to yield extra finished figuring out of ways public area works.

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It may be that we have become so feckless as a people that we no longer care how things do work, but only what kind of quick, easy outer impression they give. If so, there is little hope for our cities or probably for much else in our society. But I do not think this is so. Specifically, in the case of planning for cities, it is clear that a large number of good and earnest people do care deeply about building and renewing. Despite some corruption, and considerable greed for the other man’s vineyard, the intentions going into the messes we make are, on the whole, exemplary.

So we set up time-lapse cameras overlooking several key street corners and began plotting the location of all conversations lasting a minute or longer. People didn’t move out of the main pedestrian flow. They stayed in it or moved into it, and the great bulk of the conversations were smack in the center of the flow—the 100 percent location, to use the real-estate term. The same gravitation characterized “traveling conversations”—the kind in which two men move about, alternating the roles of straight man and principal talker.

This, or utter disinterest, is the usual atmosphere where shopping center planning or repressive zoning artificially contrives commercial monopolies for city neighborhoods. A store like this would fail economically if it had competition. Meantime, although monopoly insures the financial success planned for it, it fails the city socially. Sidewalk public contact and sidewalk public 29 30 | JANE JACOBS safety, taken together, bear directly on our contry’s most serious social problem—segregation and racial discrimination.

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