Held in conjunction with the exhibitions Polis: 7 Lessons from the European Prize for Urban Public Space, the Swiss Touch in Landscape Architecture, Barcelona Glories: Dialogue & Transformation, and Open to the Public: Civic Space Now, “Open to Public” is a day-long international symposium that will examine the multiple dimensions of public space.
European and American cities are changing rapidly, in part due to the processes of de-industrialization, integration, and economic globalization. Discussions will explore how city authorities understand public spaces and how their decisions reflect the needs and experiences of their citizens while exploring new strategies and innovative practices for place making.
The speakers will address several key questions: Who has the right to define public space? How do such places generate and sustain symbolic meaning? Is public space unchanging, or is it subject to our subjective perception? Does the public have the right to take over and change public space? Topics will range from parks, to cities, to small towns, to open-air museums and airports, encompassing the commercial marketing of place as well as the subversion and re-possession of public space by the disenfranchised. Ultimately, speakers will explain how public space is the site of social and political contestation and aesthetic change.
The afternoon will be dedicated to breakout sessions on New York public spaces. Directed by architects, artists, and leaders in charge of each project, participants will get an in-depth perspective on the process of building public space.
Empowering Communities through Public Space
Moderator: David Dixon, FAIA, Senior Principal, Stantec Urban Group Leader
Ethan Kent, Senior Vice President, Project for Public Space
Barry Mandel, President and Park Director, Discovery Green, Houston
Ron Shiffman, Hon. AIA, Professor, Grad Center for Planning, Pratt Institute
Hyuntek Yoon, Architect, nooyoon
Organized by: Center for Architecture