After the #Occupy protests against social and economic inequality that took place in New York and around the world in 2011, a number of questions were raised about public spaces and their potential as community forums for citizen expression. In light of this, a new exhibition and book release in New York shed academic light on the topic.
Beyond Zuccotti Park: Freedom of Assembly and the Occupation of Public Space – exhibited at the Center for Architecture and published by New Village Press –examines issues such as where and how people can congregate publicly in modern times, whose voices are being heard, and the factors that limit the participation of people of colour.
Further questions posed by acclaimed American author and writer Michael Kimmelman highlight architecture as the root of the argument: “Where are the spaces in which we act as a community? Who governs them? Who decides on their design? Their use? And should we blur the controls, the boundaries, the authority, and the thresholds between public and private space, between streets and sidewalks?”
Hosted by the Beyond Zuccotti Park organisation, which is dedicated to democracy, equity and public space, this initiative is part of a larger movement of protest and disconnect that we are currently exploring - keep your eyes open for future coverage.