Public Space and Revolution

Jay Walljasper discusses the role of public spaces in recent protests and revolutions from Madison, Wisconsin to Cairo, Egypt.

In a post from Onthecommons.org, Walljasper acknowledges the important role played by social media in recent uprisings in the Middle East; however, Walljasper argues, "a much older form of commons in these revolts has earned scant attention-the public spaces where citizens rally to voice their discontent, show their power and ultimately articulate a new vision for their homelands."

Walljasper cites Cairo's Tahrir Square, Tripoli's Green Square, Bahrain's Pearl Square, and Tehran's Valiasr Square as examples of public places central to each country's uprisings.

To show the universality of the connection he makes between public space and protest, Walljasper also notes the current protests occurring in Madison, Wisconsin. These protests have centered around the state capitol.

The capitol in downtown Madison "was named by Project for Public Spaces as one of the great public spaces of the world." "This is truly the town square that early Americans imagined as the crux of democracy," the PPS website explains.

Full Story: From Middle East to Madison, Justice Depends on Public Spaces

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city

Choose from over 20 styles of neckties imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95