Cities at this moment in the 21st century are seeing the latest significant disrupting force for change at a global scale in the Covid-19 pandemic. How this change will play out remains to be seen, but the early indicators are that it is not leading to the demise of the city as some forecasted, but instead is serving as a catalyst for re-imagining and adaptation. This special issue explores the theme of re-imagining the city through historical and contemporary analysis, design, and advocacy.
New York provides a particularly potent case for studying change, with numerous critical events in its history stressing the city to a maximum degree. These were followed in each case by its recovery, adaptation, and the evolution of a new New York. While New York is a great example of a changing city, other cities equally are exploring adaptation to address longer term sustainability by focusing on stresses and challenges that the pandemic has served to highlight in the public consciousness. The articles in this special issue take up this question of re-imaging the city to explore the city’s changing nature from several perspectives on public space and its critical position for urban life.
The first article links a historical view of public space to our current moment, where death and remembrance perhaps should revive the urban cemetery as a critical component of public space, where the city of the dead serves a critical cultural role in the city of the living. A second article explores the critical re-alignment of the street as public space for everyday life after years of domination by the private vehicle, analyzing the human response to New York City’s Open Streets initiative. The third article continues the examination of public space in the city by looking at active lifestyles of urban living, in this case in Rome and Montreal, especially in regard to walkability/mobility, seeking to promote improved health through the design of the public realm in public spaces linking to existing and new civic infrastructure. The fourth article considers the production and culture of public space in the city, with a case study of the evolution of a 19th century public square in Brooklyn, exploring its central position in the city’s life, its subsequent disruption and loss of heritage, and its potential to reemerge as a meaning place in the 21st century city.
Publication date: September 2022 - articles are being published as and when ready on an on-going basis and will appear below.
Jason Montgomery, City University of New York, USA
Articles will be listed here upon publication.
Author: Jason Montgomery
Published: 1 December 2022
Authors: Alessandra Capuano, Federica Morgia
Published: 1 November 2022
Author: Catriona Byers
Published: 21 September 2022
Author: Alison B Snyder
Published: 18 October 2022
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|Sociology, Political science, Political & Social philosophy, Urban studies, Architecture, Communication & Media studies
|New York, Sustainability, COVID-19, Public space, Urban life