What is public space for? Political imaginaries and policy implications

Authored by: Bernardo Zacka

The Routledge Handbook of Ethics and Public Policy

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138201279
eBook ISBN: 9781315461731
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315461731-12

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Abstract

This chapter aims to characterise what public space is and why it is valuable. To do so, it examines four competing visions of public space that co-exist, somewhat uneasily, in our democratic political culture. These visions, or imaginaries, correspond to four families of normative political views – liberal, egalitarian, civic republican, and democratic. These views provide us with different accounts of what it is that makes public space valuable; they bring into focus distinctive types of threats to public space; and they chart different courses of action for public policy and urban design.

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