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10 awards: cities and voices

The European Prize for Urban Public Space, which was inaugurated in 2000, is now being awarded for the tenth time. Over the years of its existence, it has become an observatory of the reconquest of public spaces by European cities. Moreover, this presentation of public space projects comes together with a number of influential voices which, from fields including geography, sociology, anthropology, literature, philosophy and architecture, inquire into and discuss the nature of public space, its potential and the dangers it faces. In this section you will find a selection of cities in Europe which are taking the lead in recovering public space, in addition to the voices that have spoken for and about it in the years since the Prize was first offered.
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    City: Magdeburg

    The residents of a socially depressed neighbourhood have organised to collect and share books in an open-air library that they have constructed, after a participative process, with prefabricated pieces from a demolished building.
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    City: Teruel

    Construction of a new system of lifts by the flight of steps in Teruel, improving mobility and accessibility in the area.
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    Voice: Diane Davis

    "You can design physical areas, but they do not become public spaces until they are made public by people"

    Interview for Shared Spaces with Diane David, Sociologist, Geographer and professor of urban planning at the University of Harvard.
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     Voice: Richard Sennett

    “We don’t have public spaces where immigrants and long-term residents can mix”

    The American-born sociologist and writer speaks of public spaces that presently interest him, namely long-neglected places that help immigrants to feel at home. His favourite public space is near where he lives in London, a square in which activit...
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    City: Ljubljana

    Ljubljana is an example among those cities which, over the past few decades, have joined the movement in Europe for recovering public spaces. To be highlighted particular is the Rearrangement of Ljubljanica riverbanks, joint winner of the 2012 Award.
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    Voice: Peter Burke

    “Cities are centers of calculation where information is turned into knowledge”

    Shared spaces interviews the well-known authority on the social history of knowledge, Peter Burke, author of 26 books that have been translated into more than 31 languages.
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    City: Helsinki

    A deep railway canyon splitting the urban fabric is converted into a pedestrian and bicycle corridor in a resource-saving collaborative process that also respects the memory of an industrial past.
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    Voice: Saskia Sassen

    “Public space is a place in which there is a momentary condition of equality”

    The Dutch-American sociologist speaks about the social expulsions of the system and says that the street should be taken over by pedestrians: deritualising the public space of mega-cities in the face of their increasing overdetermination.
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    City: Zadar

    The sea organ situated in the new marine parade of the Zadar peninsula succeeded in revitalizing an area that, although its natural beauty and privileged sunset, had been forgotten and unvisited by either city habitants and tourists.
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    Voice: Raquel Rolnik

    “Public space should be seen in in its dual symbolic and material dimensions as a common good belonging to citizens.”

    The Professor of Urban Planning of the University of São Paulo, Raquel Rolnik warns of the dangers of losing public space in cities governed by the logic of privatisation.
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