The main characteristics of public space are accessibility and usability for all citizens. However, current developments, primarily observed in cities, suggest the loss of a clear distinction between public and private space. Instead, urban spaces of hybrid character are emerging. Spaces with public functions, like train stations, parks or pedestrian areas, are changing in character, and semi-private spaces, like malls or plazas, are spreading. In order to get a realistic view of developments this article offers a critical appraisal of recent privatisation trends followed by a brief summary. After discussing feasible reasons for the loss of private space the article considers potential implications for the future of citizenship.
Sylke Nissen, University of Leipzig, Beethovenstr. 15, Leipzig, D-04107, Germany; http://dlib.lib.cas.cz/4378/
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