Public Space: Ideals, Predicaments, Practices



In classic social theories, the concept of public space traces back to the Greek agora and the Roman forum. Ever since its birth, public space has acted as a central social and political arena in which free expressions of ideas and opinions are allowed and encouraged. In the agoras and forums, the citizens of Athens and Rome exchanged their opinions on the public matters of the city, making public space the primary locus of reason and rationality. According to Hartley (1992, pp. 29–30), the Greek agora is “a place of citizenship, an open space where public affairs and legal disputes were conducted”, and “where words, actions, and produce were all literally on mutual display, and where judgments, bargains and decisions were made”.

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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyThe University of Hong KongHong KongHong Kong

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