The publicness of space: exclusionary control of public and semi-public space

Loomis, J. & B. Sandalack, 2004, The publicness of space: exclusionary control of public and semi-public space, in: OPENspace, ‘Open space, people space’, OPENspace, Edinburgh

  • Author : Loomis, J. & B. Sandalack
  • Year : 2004
  • Published in Book : Open space, people space
  • Abstract in English : In many contemporary North American cities, the boundaries and definitions of public and private space have become ambiguous, encouraged by the increase in the privatization of the urban environment. This ambiguity threatens the concept as well as the physical and experiential qualities of the public realm. Calgary’s Plus 15 system (a pedestrian skyway system) is an example of semi-public space that is perceived as public space, but managed as private or semi-private space. This paper summarizes research in which portions of the Plus 15 system and Stephen Avenue, downtown Calgary’s premier pedestrian street, were critically analyzed in terms of their degree of publicness, and the extent of social control methods such as surveillance, security measures and design interventions. The increased effectiveness in social control associated with the privatization of pedestrian environments is shown to have a negative impact on the social exclusion of lower socio-economic class Calgary residents, especially the urban poor and the homeless.
  • Comments/Notes : KEYWORDS: public space, semi-public space,social control,exclusion, homeless. [paper 6 p.]