Public space is the mirror of society, the stage for everday socio-cultural interaction. We meet, eat, party, play, exercise, and, importantly, shop in public space.
Pictured is the Meent, a typically busy shopping street in Rotterdam’s centre. Streets like these are the spine of public space, the key support for our every-day life, where the bustling activity of people running their day-to-day errands gives the city energy, a life of its own.
But during lockdown(s), most shops are closed, leaving streets and squares virtually empty. When you take people out of the equation, public space is deprived of her “raison d’etre” – people.
The result is an urban space void of publicness, a ghost town.
This is one of my entries for the virtual exhibition ‘Back to the Future of Public Space: Postcards from 2020’ organized by Rhizomalab (see previous post). To see all contributions follow this link.