At the Birmingham Salon event The Sanitised City: How public is public space? on Wednesday 8th February 2012, Nikki Pugh describes the outcomes from a network she co-founded to support the development of pervasive gaming (the idea of adults doing playful things in public spaces) in and around Birmingham. Nikki recounts a number of past projects that highlighted issues relating to notions of public space, including w i d e o p e n s p a c e, an afternoon of play and picnics in publicly accessible spaces around Curzon Street station.
Nikki does not want to live in a city that is subordinated to the fear of the unknown, and asks how do we own our city? How do we defer to ‘normal behaviour’? How do we redefine public space for our own needs and accommodate the needs of others?
At the Birmingham Salon event The Sanitised City: How public is public space? on Wednesday 8th February 2012, Alastair Donald challenged the idea that the over-regulation and sanitisation of our cities is solely attributable to the privatisation of public space, for example, through shopping malls or private estates. A bigger problem, he argued, is the invasion by public authorities of the private sphere and the autonomous citizen. Once, we might have moved to cities to experience more intense, open and unpredictable forms of social life. But in today’s less trusting and more anxious times, the demand for ever more rules and procedures to govern individual behaviour and interpersonal relations is redefining the very nature of what it means to be public, and in the process undermining the sociability of cities.
Listen to Alastair Donald, Urban Designer and Associate Director of the Future Cities Project, in this podcast.
Listen to Linda Bellos, chair of the Institute of Equality and Diversity Practitioners. Here Linda debates at the Birmingham Salon event Warning! Women at Work on Wednesday 12th October 2011 at The Studio, Birmingham.
Listen to Nina Powell, PhD candidate and researcher in Psychology at the University of Birmingham. Here Nina introduces the Birmingham Salon debate Warning! Women at Work on Wednesday 12th October 2011 at The Studio, Birmingham.