The Sanitised City: How public is public space?

Birmingham Salon – a friendly bunch who take ideas and debate seriously – has invited me to speak at their upcoming event “The Sanitised City: How public is public space?

[…] what could bring our sanitised cities back to life? What represents acceptable behaviour, and who should decide and how? Is the way forward to be found in better design and new models of ownership? As from Cairo to Tunis and from Athens to Madrid, civic space has recently been thrust back into the spotlight, this session asks ‘what is public space?

The main speaker will be Alastair Donald: associate director of the Future Cities Project, and co-editor of The Lure of the City: From Slums to Suburbs. He is an urban designer, researching mobility and space at the Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies, University of Cambridge.

Then there’s me. I’ll be responding to Alistair’s introduction with my Splacist hat on and exploring what implications thinking about mass participation and the organisation of cities has for the Splacist manifesto and vice versa.

Hannah and I still very much see the manifesto as an ongoing work in progress as we debate and experiment to find out what it may mean. Feel free to add a comment if you have any thoughts to share on things such as:

  • rules and regulations
  • accepted/expected civic behaviour
  • homogeneous city centres
  • commercialism
  • privately-owned public space
  • occupation
  • surveillance

What is public space? Join us on Wednesday the 8th of February at The Studio, Cannon St, Birmingham B2 5EP. 7.00pm until 8.30pm and in the pub afterwards.