COVID-19 is an invisible threat that has hugely impacted cities and their inhabitants. Yet its impact is very visible, perhaps most so in urban public spaces and spaces of mobility.
This international volume explores the transformations of public space and public transport in response to COVID-19 across the world, both those resulting from official governmental regulations and from everyday practices of urban citizens. The contributors discuss how the virus made urban inequalities sharper and clearer, and redefined public spaces in the ‘new normal’.
Offering crucial insights for reforming cities to be more resilient to future crises, this is an invaluable resource for scholars and policy makers alike.
67 FIVE Public spaces of Kopčany We left the lodging house and a few children were already awaiting us near the entrance to the building. A girl halted one of the colleagues and screamed at her for something while the other colleague took me down the stairs and introduced me to other children. I ended up with a group of young boys who were playing near a puddle at the verge of a humpy parking place, probably a result of a clogged sewer. We brought skipping ropes for the children and we played with them while I started my first conversations in the
163 NINE Conflict over public space Laurel Paget-Seekins Introduction Bus Rapid Transit’s (BRT) promise for sustainability is more than improving public transit accessibility, it is also that by design BRT dedicates public space for bus and, in some cases, non-motorised users. Shifting space away from personal cars is a radical act that can have impacts beyond benefits for bus operations. It has the potential to reshape urban development away from car-centred cities. However, achieving this potential will result in conflict. The reality is that
Introduction The pandemic itself, its rippling repercussions, and the measures to control its spread, have dramatically altered our ways of life and how we behave in public space. The production of public space, which, in our understanding is the result of social practices of people in combination, and response to, regulations and cultural norms, is undergoing major transformation. By now, we can see that these new regulations for how to physically distance in space lay bare, in fact exacerbate, already existing urban inequalities and social differences. In
1 ONE Introduction: Cities and public space [To reveal the production of space] we should have to look at history itself in a new light. We should have to study not only the history of space, but also the history of representations along with that of their relationships – with each other, with practice, and with ideology. History would have to take in not only the genesis of these spaces but also, and especially, their interconnections, distortions, displacements, mutual interconnections, and their links with the spatial practice of the particular
of those seen to be using parks, beaches, and other public spaces. The (mis)use of public space had, it seems, become one of the key battlegrounds of cities under lockdown. That transgression of the ‘stay home’ imperative, framed around the supposed failure of the individual, is perhaps unsurprising when considered as an expression of neoliberal discourse on individual responsibility, and regulation of public space. The individualistic narrative that emerged during the COVID-19 lockdown appears to be a logical extension of social, spatial, and political
183 SEVEN Implications of status dogs in public space Having established the nature of the status dog phenomenon, we now turn to the impacts on communities and consider the implications for people who share public spaces with status dogs. Growing numbers of bull breeds and status dogs has led to their increased visibility in parks, high streets and housing estates. This, coupled with increasing media attention, has led to heightened public recognition and awareness of these breeds. An increase in public anxiety is often the result, and is reflected in