The Relevance of Public Space: Rethinking Its Material and Political Aspects

  • Stefano MoroniEmail author
  • Francesco Chiodelli
Part of the Urban and Landscape Perspectives book series (URBANLAND, volume 12)


The debate about public space is amply covered by a broad spectrum of disciplines: sociology, anthropology, architecture and planning and political sciences. Within this scenario, certain invariable focal points can be pinpointed that are common to a great deal of academic works and of journalistic and public debate also. The two recurrent theses on public space to which we refer are as follows:


Public Space Private Property Public Sphere Urban Space Shopping Mall 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



  1. Amin A (2008) Collective culture and urban public space. Cities 12(1):5–24Google Scholar
  2. Banerjee T (2001) The future of public space: beyond invented streets and reinvented places. J Am Plann Assoc 67(1):9–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Basson S (2006) “Oh comrade, what times those were!” History, capital punishment and the urban public square. Urban Stud 43(7):1147–1158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ben-Joseph E (2004) Double standards, single goal: private communities and design innovation. J Urban Des 9(2):131–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blakely EJ, Snyder MG (1997) Fortress America. Gated communities in the United States. Brookings Institution Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  6. Blomley N (2001) Introduction. In: Blomley N, Delaney D, Ford RT (eds) The legal geographies reader. Blackwell, Oxford, pp 3–5Google Scholar
  7. Brunetta G, Moroni S (2012) Contractual communities in the self-organizing city. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Crang M (2000) Public space, urban space and electronic space: would the real city please stand up? Urban Stud 37(2):301–317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dixon J, Levine M, McAuley R (2006) Locating impropriety: street drinking, moral order and the ideological dilemma of public space. Political Psychol 27(2):187–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ellickson RC (1996) Controlling chronic misconduct in city spaces; of panhandlers, skid rows, and public-space zoning. Yale J Law 105:1165–1248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ercan MA (2010) Less public than before? Public space improvement in Newcastle city centre. In: Madanipour A (ed) Whose public space? International case studies in urban design and development. Routledge, London, pp 21–50Google Scholar
  12. Foldvary F (1994) Public goods and private communities. Edward Elgar, AldershotGoogle Scholar
  13. Fraser N (1990) Rethinking the public sphere: a contribution to the critique of actually existing democracy. Social Text 25–26:56–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Glasze G, Webster C, Frantz K (2006) Introduction. In: Glasze G, Webster C, Frantz K (eds) Private cities. Global and local perspectives. Routledge, London, pp 1–8Google Scholar
  15. Habermas J (1974) The Public sphere: an encyclopaedia article. New German Critique 3:49–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Harvey D (2006) The political economy of public space. In: Low S, Smith N (eds) The politics of public space. Routledge, London, pp 17–33Google Scholar
  17. Howell P (1993) Public space and the public sphere: political theory and the historical geography of modernity. Environ Plann D Soc Space 11(3):303–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kirby A (2008) The production of private space and its implications for urban social relations. Political Geogr 27(1):74–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kohn M (2004) Brave new neighbourhoods. The privatization of public space. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  20. Lang RE, Danielsen KA (1997) Gated communities in America: walling out the world? Hous Policy Debate 8(4):867–877CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Laurenson P, Collins D (2007) Beyond punitive regulation? Antipode 39(4):649–667CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Light J (1999) From city space to cyberspace. In: Crang M, Crang P, May J (eds) Virtual geographies. Routledge, London, pp 109–130Google Scholar
  23. Lofland L (2000) Urbanity, tolerance and public space. In: Deben L, Heinemeyer W, van der Vaart D (eds) Understanding Amsterdam: economic vitality, city life and urban form. Het Spinhuis, Amsterdam, pp 143–160Google Scholar
  24. Low SM (2006) The erosion of public space and the public realm: paranoia, surveillance and the privatization in New York City. City & Society 18(1):43–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Low S, Smith N (2006) Introduction: the imperative of public space. In: Low S, Smith N (eds) The politics of public space. Routledge, London, pp 1–16Google Scholar
  26. Madanipour A (2003) Public and private spaces of the city. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  27. Madanipour A (2010) Introduction. In: Madanipour A (ed) Whose public space? International case studies in urban design and development. Routledge, London, pp 1–15Google Scholar
  28. Miles M (2000) After the public realm: spaces of representation, transition and plurality. J Art Des Edu 19(3):253–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mitchell D (1995) The end of public spaces? People’s park, definitions of the public, and democracy. Ann Assoc Am Geogr 85:108–133Google Scholar
  30. Mitchell D (1997) The annihilation of space by law: the root and implications of anti-homeless laws in the United States. Antipode 29(3):303–335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mitchell D (2003) The right to the city. Social justice and the fight for public space. The Guilford Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  32. Mitchell D (2005) The S.U.V. model of citizenship: floating bubbles, buffer zones, and the rise of the “purely atomic” individual. Political Geogr 24(1):77–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Moroni S, Chiodelli F (2013) Typologies of spaces and topology of tolerance. J Urban Aff (forthcoming)Google Scholar
  34. Needham B (2006) Planning, law and economics. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  35. Nelson RH (2005) Private neighborhoods. Urban Institute Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  36. Németh J (2009) Defining a public: the management of privately owned public space. Urban Stud 46(11):2463–2490CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Nozick R (1974) Anarchy, state, and utopia. Basic Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  38. Scott S (1994) The homes association: will “private government” serve the public interest? In: Barton SE, Silverman CJ (eds) Common interest communities. Institute of Governmental Studies Press, Berkeley, pp 19–29Google Scholar
  39. Sheller M, Urry J (2000) The city and the car. Int J Urban Reg Res 24(4):737–757CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sisk GC (2007) Uprooting the Pruneyard. Rutgers Law J 38(4):1145–1214Google Scholar
  41. Sorkin M (ed) (1992) Variations on a theme park: the new American cities and the end of public space. Hill and Wang, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  42. Tyndall A (2010) “It’s a public, I reckon”: publicness and suburban shopping mall in Sydney’s southwest. Geogr Res 48(2):123–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Waldron J (1993) Liberal rights. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  44. Young I (1990) Justice and the politics of difference. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Architecture and Urban StudiesMilan PolitecnicoMilanItaly

Personalised recommendations