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Geographica Helvetica
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Volume 64, issue 1
Geogr. Helv., 64, 11-20, 2009
https://doi.org/10.5194/gh-64-11-2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Geogr. Helv., 64, 11-20, 2009
https://doi.org/10.5194/gh-64-11-2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  31 Mar 2009

31 Mar 2009

Cities of "others" : public space and everyday practices

D. Vaiou1 and A. Kalandides2 D. Vaiou and A. Kalandides
  • 1Department of Urban and Regional Planning, National Technical University of Athens, Patission Str. 42, 10682 Athens, Greece
  • 2PhD Cand., Department of Urban and Regional Planning, National Technical University of Athens, Patission Str. 42, 10682 Athens, Greece and INPOLIS UCE GmbH, Dunckerstrasse 90A, 10437 Berlin, Germany

Abstract. This paper deals with the concept of «public space». It works with the ambiguities embedded therein, contrasting material space/s – the streets, squares, parks, public buildings of the city – with the other spaces created through the functions and institutions of the «public sphere» as a site of public deliberation. Focussing on the ambiguities of the concept allow questions of access, interaction, participation, cultural and symbolic rights of passage to be posed. Public space is approached here as constituted through the practices of everyday life: it is produced and constantly contested, reflecting – among other things – relations of power. Differences in gender, ethnicity or sexuality often lead to binary thinking, such as inside/outside, inclusion/exclusion, local/stranger. The way that such categories intertwine in everyday life, though, unsettle easy categorisations and force a questioning of strict lines of division. It is in this context that a proposal is made to discuss the city of «others», drawing from research examples which cross over such lines.

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