The Importance of Urban Public Spaces for AssemblyI’ve been feeling inspired by the Occupy Atlanta movement happening in Woodruff Park, a block away from my building. I’m glad that we have a public space for assembly like this park in a highly visible part of downtown Atlanta.
Thinking about the importance of public spaces in cities as points of assembly for protest — I’m reminded of a post called Liberation Squares by Vishaan Chakrabarti, published in Urban Omnibus earlier this year.
Quotes:

Public spaces like Tompkins Square, Tiananmen Square and Tahrir Square have been stages for history because they provide the loci for urban gathering, particularly for a city’s youth. After all, if the revolution is to be televised, from where else would it be broadcast? …And perhaps this is the primary lesson about public space. That beyond our day-to-day needs for it be clean, amenable, and safe, it also has to allow for the expression of instability, for the expression of a world ever in need of change.

In the car-dependent, suburban environment, there are no places like Woodruff Park that offer public spaces with visibility for protests. The only open spaces around high-traffic areas in the sprawlburbs are privately-owned parking lots. At least the cars have a place to assemble
Photo by Curtis Compton, AJC

The Importance of Urban Public Spaces for Assembly

I’ve been feeling inspired by the Occupy Atlanta movement happening in Woodruff Park, a block away from my building. I’m glad that we have a public space for assembly like this park in a highly visible part of downtown Atlanta.

Thinking about the importance of public spaces in cities as points of assembly for protest — I’m reminded of a post called Liberation Squares by Vishaan Chakrabarti, published in Urban Omnibus earlier this year.

Quotes:

Public spaces like Tompkins Square, Tiananmen Square and Tahrir Square have been stages for history because they provide the loci for urban gathering, particularly for a city’s youth. After all, if the revolution is to be televised, from where else would it be broadcast?

…And perhaps this is the primary lesson about public space. That beyond our day-to-day needs for it be clean, amenable, and safe, it also has to allow for the expression of instability, for the expression of a world ever in need of change.

In the car-dependent, suburban environment, there are no places like Woodruff Park that offer public spaces with visibility for protests. The only open spaces around high-traffic areas in the sprawlburbs are privately-owned parking lots. At least the cars have a place to assemble

Photo by Curtis Compton, AJC