1.31 - The Publicness of Urban Spaces

Project Description

This thesis will focus on the evaluation of different types of public spaces of the contemporary city, exploring the concept of publicness. Public spaces are no longer the spaces provided, almost exclusively, by the public sector. Nowadays, spaces for public use are provided, more and more, by the private sector. Financial cutbacks of the local authorities’ budgets encourage the process of privatizing public spaces. Moreover, high levels of urban insecurity in most of large urban areas calls for the enclosure and control of what used to be free and public. In this context, different forms of provision and management have been emerging. These spaces may comprise an increasing diversity of functions and events. However, restrictions of use and access control may easily lead to physical and social segregation. In order to capture the perceived differences between the public spaces, some illustrative case studies will be studied and evaluated.

Research Team
  • Miguel Lopes
  • Paulo Pinho (supervisor)
  • Sara Santos Cruz (co-supervisor)
Financial Support
  • FCT finantial support
Stage of Progress
  • Started January 2011