Stand up for Public Space

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Global Campaign to Support Public Space at the 10th World Urban Forum
on 8-13 February 2020, taking place in Abu Dhabi

Future cities need public space for a more human(e) togetherness!

In August, City Space Architecture launched a global campaign to support public space, inviting global stakeholders to join forces in order to ask the WUF Secretariat to include a clear reference to public space in their Concept Note. The campaign attracted strong interest, with insightful statements from urban experts and activists. After that, the Concept Note has been revised, now public space is included in the document and this is a great achievement.

“We share our planet, while buzzling metropolises, innumerable cities and tiny rural villages, hamlets, woods and alpages are our homes. Some of us live in the largest urban gatherings we may know, others in the most remote settlements we can imagine, and the rest in every other place we may think of. We live together apart, apart together. We live with family, with friends, or neighbours, within a community, or more on-distance, with people we know, with strangers. We live with the other somehow. Being human, our world provides us shelter and our public spaces shape social living rooms. Across cultures and societies, these are more or less publicly-used, more or less publicly-owned, more or less publicly-known. All kinds of public spaces give place to our daily routines and our sudden encounters; struggles, surprises or discoveries every day. As simple as it is, the place we share is a human space by nature. Yet, although these places are everywhere and in every form, effectively, the planet we share, we share in our public spaces. We do so, while consciously our planet is challenged; from a political perspective, a technical, an economical, a cultural, an ecological, and thus always a spatial one. We do so, while our planet turns and we age. As cultures mingle, or clash, and our societies respond, and change, and new generations come and innovate, together we continuously have to maintain and update our public spaces. So, similar to the right to adequate housing, we better take care of adequate public spaces too! In a world where everyone should have a place, public space has become a global issue, connected and united in the challenges before us and with respect to their local nature.”
Maurice Harteveld

We think that it should be addressed more strategically: since the main theme of WUF10 is ‘Cities of Opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation’, we think that public space should be discussed also to foster inclusion, equity, resilience and sustainability, following the UN’s imperative to “leave no one behind”.

Read more: City Space Architecture

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