Novi_Komshilook_pozivnica_i_plan_rada_Page_1_resizeOn October 7-10, 2010, a workshop “The Arts in Public Spaces ~ New Komshilook/ Neighbourhood” was held in Užice, Serbia. A representative of Expeditio participated in the workshop with a lecture entitled Reading Public Spaces - My real Facebook.

Public spaces are places that have far greater importance in our lives than we are aware of and that we use less often than we should. They are an extension of our own space and bring a specific quality to our everyday lives. They are our real Facebook, and, among other things, the places for gathering, meeting and socializing. Very often, we only dash through them, unaware of what they have to offer to us. However, throughout history, public spaces often changed their purpose. In addition to positive functions, they have also witnessed negative or manipulative intentions of governments. What makes a public space and what are the elements that make a modern public space good and functional? What do we understand by public spaces and what are our rights over them? Are we aware of these rights, and whether and to what extent do we use them? What do planners and architects know about public spaces, and what elements do they consider when designing and creating them? How do we use public spaces, and in what other ways could we use them? What are the trends and prevailing ways of thinking about the future of public spaces in spatial planning? These are only some of the questions the answers to which can help us understand the meaning of public spaces in a more comprehensive way. 

Understanding and “reading” of public spaces can help us “read” the society as a whole. Our attitude towards public spaces, their physical condition, the ways and intensity of their usage are specific indicators of the general state of a society. By understanding and claiming public, i.e. our spaces, we claim our rights and freedoms. It is therefor important not to deny these rights to the existing public spaces and to insist, through spatial planning systems, on the creation of as many as possible new ones. 

Biljana Gligoric

EXPEDITIO is a non-governmental organization whose mission is to encourage sustainable spatial development in Montenegro and SEE region through activity in the fields of sustainable architecture, cultural heritage, urban planning and through projects that encourage overall development of the civil society. Expeditio was established in 1997.

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