The erosion of public space has great impacts on local communities. The following articles examine these impacts in a range of different geographic contexts and with regards to various driving forces. 


Tbilisi’s Panorama project is urban boosterism at its worst

Irakli Zhvania

Open Democracy, 20 October 2016

Bidzina Ivanishvili is Georgia’s richest man—and probably its most powerful. Since taking (and leaving) the post of prime minister in 2012-2013, Ivanishvili has remained influential behind the scenes. It’s an accusation the businessman has always denied, stating that he merely enjoys the trust of the public and politicians. 
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The right to the city as a citizen's practice


Open Democracy, 8 November 2016

John Lennon wrote that "life is what happens while you're busy making other plans." In the twenty-first century, times in which citizens are seizing the initiative in almost all areas, the right to the city could be what happens in civil society while experts are busy agreeing on its definition. 
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An Armenian woman’s place is at the protest


Open Democracy, 22 November 2016

It is an ordinary evening in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. A man is in a taxi on Baghramyan Avenue, going down to the city centre. Suddenly, the street is blocked by protesters. Among the activists, a woman stands with a megaphone, reeling off the group’s demands. 
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Kazakhstan: a showcase for shrinking civic space


Open Democracy, 7 June 2017

Little noticed by the international community, Kazakhstan has become a model case for the global double trend of rising authoritarianism and shrinking civic space. While state pressure has grown continuously since the mid-1990s...  
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openMovements: social movements, global outlooks and public sociologists


Open Democracy, 16 March 2015

We live in a time of deep reconfigurations of both democracy and social movements. The democratic project is under serious threat in various regions of the world. On the one hand, social movements are repressed, journalists killed, citizens are spied upon by their states and...    Read More →

The end of public space: one law to ban them all


Open Democracy, 20 January 2014

The idea of public space, as it developed in the modern period, was space for the free use and enjoyment of the citizenry. The temper and character of public space should be determined not by any private or public authority, but by the ways in which people choose to use it. 
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Grand designs: can a Stalinist propaganda park become an appealing public space?

ANYA Filippova

Calvert Journal, 20 January 2015

VDNKh, a vast Soviet-era exhibition space in the north of Moscow, is undergoing major regeneration. Could it be the next Gorky Park-style success story, or will the ghosts of the past prove too strong?
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Sasha Kurmaz: An artist’s guide to reclaiming public space


Calvert Journal

For Ukrainian artist Sasha Kurmaz, the future of photography lies beyond the pages of a book and the computer screen — it belongs in the heart of the city, on the battlefield of commerce, politics and indifference.  
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Moscow’s “hipster” culture minister talks public space and community building

Meng-Hao Lee

Calvert Journal, 11 December 2014

Sergei Kapkov, the Minister of Culture in Moscow's city government, spoke about the role of public spaces for the development of social capital at the Moscow Urban Forum this afternoon. The minister stressed how important it was for citizens to have a sense of ownership over the city's public spaces. 
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The Gezi Occupation: for a democracy of public spaces


Open Democracy, 11 June 2013

Over the past week, protest movements have spread across Turkey’s largest cities, and appear to become widespread urban uprisings. Despite often violent police intervention, people have not hesitated to take to the streets and block avenues, neighbourhoods, and their cities’ central spaces.  
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