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2013 | OriginalPaper | Chapter


Authors: Chris Berry, Janet Harbord, Rachel Moore

Published in: Public Space, Media Space

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan UK


The physical public space of the city is back on the agenda. Not so long ago, Rem Koolhaas wrote that “the street is dead” and “The Generic City is what is left after large sections of urban life crossed over to cyberspace” (Koolhaas, 1995, pp. 1253, 1250). Whilst an evacuation of physical space is both anticipated and confirmed in his commentary, the situation today presents us with a less clear division of online and offline worlds. After the 2011 Arab Spring, followed by the August riots in several cities of the UK, we can say with certainty that media, space and event are thoroughly imbricated. Public space is almost by definition contested, or at least negotiated, space in that no one person or company can unequivocally own and control it. Yet the privatized regulation of public space, or the current hybrid formation of privately owned public space, encroaches on such rights to contest and negotiate. What we understand as media networks and media domains are not to be imagined simply as counter-forums to regulated public space or prosthetic adjuncts to what occurs in cities; rather, they are part of the material and experiential formation of what now constitutes life in public spaces.

Chris Berry
Janet Harbord
Rachel Moore
Copyright Year
Palgrave Macmillan UK