URBAN SPACES AND PUBLIC SPHERE
In an urban public space what is the public sphere and how does it come into existence? Is it by actively ‘taking’ or ‘claiming’ the public space only through struggle and contested views as Don Mitchel has stated?
Alternatively, can they be claimed more subtly and organically as Jeffrey Hou has illustrated when describing the corporate public spaces of Hong Kong? Is it only through ‘insurgency’ do these public spaces gain credibility as a domain for the public sphere or can they be formed through institutions such as government bodies and corporations or Architectural Design? Maybe the answer to these questions is “Yes, to all of the above” and there might be multiple ways of defining and achieving the ‘public sphere.’
Ideally, the public sphere is a physical or non-physical platform where individuals can express themselves and assert their beliefs and opinions without fear of repercussions, ‘censorship’ or any oppression. A place where people from different backgrounds can congregate and interact without sensing an environment of exclusivity or feel unwanted; a place where they can feel safe.
However, do such places exist in the real world? The author of this paper believes that such a space does exist. The name of this physical place is a 'Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue.