The role of public space systems on urban transformation: a review on lisbon south bank regeneration process

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Many urban regeneration processes, today, use public space as the main ground to implement urban transformation policies – economic, social, cultural, etc. – and deliver valued benefits. Recent discussions about public space relevance in contemporary urban dynamics – privatization, gentrification, etc. – are also a reflection of its role, not just as political or institutional terms, but acknowledging itself as an “urban value” (P. Brandão, 2005; Portas, 1999). These initiatives include from central and historic cores to former industrial areas, from large waterfronts to small scale projects for local communities, which encompass several urban dimensions, dynamics and stakeholders. As urban areas grow, other typologies of public space arise – as transport interchange, shopping centres, waterfronts, theme parks, etc. (P. Brandão & Remesar, 2004) where categories of public-private-collective are mixed together, in a wide range of activities and urban settings. Public space’s traditional purpose (meeting and making social connections) is often colonized by trends of leisure, consumption, movement or marketing. As urban areas spread, public space may lose its central role of structuring and anchoring urban activities. Does this mean a possible crises or disbelief on public space role in the urban process? Or a need for a new approach?
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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