Common Space: The City as Commons (In Common) by Stavros Stavrides

By Stavros Stavrides

How usually will we think of the supply of shared, public house in our day-by-day lives? Governmental efforts in place—such as anti-homeless spikes, slanted bus benches, and timed sprinklers—are all designed to deter use of already critically constrained public parts. How we engage with area in a latest context, rather in city settings, can believe more and more ruled and blocked off from universal daily encounters.

With Common Space, activist and architect Stavros Stavrides demands a reconceiving of private and non-private house within the glossy age. Stavrides appeals for a brand new realizing of universal house not just as whatever that may be ruled and open to all, yet as a necessary point of our international that expresses, encourages, and exemplifies new kinds of social kin and shared stories. He exhibits how those areas are created, via a desirable international exam of social housing, self-built city settlements, highway peddlers, and public artwork and graffiti.

The first publication to explicitly take on the proposal of the town as commons, Common Space, deals an insightful examine into the hyperlinks among area and social kin, revealing the hidden emancipatory strength inside of our city worlds.

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Extra resources for Common Space: The City as Commons (In Common)

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For five thousand years, pack animals shuffled slaves, sugar, and silk between the Mediterranean, India, and China, through the funnel of the Kabul valley. The town blossomed into a winding maze of stables, warehouses, and workshops; wood carvers, jewelers, and calligraphers flourished in the alleys; the street level rose over the centuries; and new houses grew from fragments of wood, straw, and earth, first deposited at the time of Alexander the Great. In Bagram, north of the city, a spade uncovered a storeroom containing porphyry from Roman Egypt, lacquer from first-century China, and Indian ivories nailed to a crumbling two-thousand-year-old chair.

Suddenly, I thought about the stark contrasts among the spaces: the everyday bustle of Taksim Square, and its political unrest; the classic, peaceful beauty of the grand Roman squares; and the revolt erupting in Kiev’s Maidan, another square of Old World character. I explored further, which led me to putting together this collection: a series of essays created for this book, which considers the square from different points of view, from the intensely personal to the expansively global. Each square stands for a larger theme in history, culture, and geopolitics.

But it is often less a retreat than a magnet or a pause or a perch in the midst of things. It may be dominated by a single great building, like St. Peter’s, but the physical virtue of occupying a square is rarely about any one building; its beauty derives from the nature of the void between buildings: the harmony of vertical and horizontal elements, architecture with open space, ground and sky, human scale. The oval arcade enclosing the square of St. Peter’s embraces visitors and brings down to a more human scale the heroic space of the piazza.

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