and Democracy

Public places hold potential implications for democratic awareness, development, and activity as they may pose stages for democratic performances and may have been formed through democratic processes. Public space may encompass core aspects from representative (Re), deliberative (D), participatory (P) and radical (Ra) theories of democracy. We seek out the physical places which allow for: 1) Creation of a sense of “we” through encounters with others (e.g. expression and defence of norms and symbolic representation); 2) Formation of and articulation of mutual interests and preferences (e.g. positioning regarding local practices and policies) (P); 3) Making of public claims (e.g. claims on public resources, requesting action or inaction on collective problems, defending existing arrangements) (Ra) ; 4) Deliberation over political issues (e.g. communicative action seeking mutual understanding and traditional debate) (D); 5) Practice of democratic roles (e.g. running for election in housing cooperative board or debating the cooperative’s policies) (Re).