Political Space

Political Space

1.Political Stance

1.‘Public’ squares and parks commissioned by city planners and the government can become political space because of the public’s appropriation of them. For example, Tiananmen Square and Trafalgar Square are both high-profile spaces where people naturally congregate in times of crisis and celebration surrounded by prominent buildings of historical importance, these are places where political actions and demonstrations occur, where the people can be seen and heard. Within social housing, these areas tend to be the gardens and parks between the buildings which should allow the residents to socialise as a community. (Boxill, L: 2008)

2.“We shape our buildings and afterwards they shape us”
Winston Churchill: addressing the Commons in the chamber of the House of Lords. October 28, 1943.

The instance space is inhabited by more than one person the shear negotiation of behaviour involved politicises such a space whereby invisible boundaries are drawn. In order to define political space it is important to initially determine the politics of space, particularly ownership. There are a number of considered factors influencing the politicisation of space such as gender, culture and economics to name a few. For example why is spatial preference determined by financial capabilities as opposed to need? Social housing spaces often adhere to minimum requirement whereas private housing developments offer generous provisions, in a number of situations offering superfluous spaces. (Sofoluke, P: 2008)

2.Political Spectrum

Political spaces can be considered on a variety of scales ranging from political spaces on a global scale to the politics involved in spaces within the home. This study attempts to highlight instances that political spaces operate at a multitude of levels within a so-called ‘political spectrum’, these levels are as follows:

a. Virtual [Global] Politics
The growth of an ‘information age’ introduced at the latter stage of the 20th century has enabled cross-cultural integration on a global scale. The biggest product of this 'age' is the internet which gave birth to a new phenomenon of Virtual space. This presents an example of the politicisation of the Virtual world.

b. Privatised Spaces
Public spaces are increasingly leaving the public realm and are becoming privatised, changing the ways in which the public can use these areas. The Paradise Street Development Area, Liverpool is used to illustrate the changes occurring in city centres.

c. Simulated Spaces
Simulation of spaces essentially entails the fabrication of a false reality to spaces in order to address absent spatial qualities. Simulation is discussed in relation to Park Hill, Sheffield and its original vision of 'Streets-in-the-sky' as well as theme parks in which simulated spaces are crucial.

d. Communal/Public Spaces
A communal garden surrounded by housing estates in Leipzig-Grünau is used to demontrate a possible protype for creating a sustainable public space for which the residents have a responsibility.
Public spaces can be appropriated to create political spaces because of their prominence and adaptability to each arising situation. Tiananmen square, Beijing is used as an example of 'public space' because it has had a long and turbulent past in which both the government and Chinese citizens have used the space for their different puposes.

3.Housing Politics

Gated Communities
Gated communities are residential schemes physically enclosed and allows access only to residents. Haverleij s’-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch), The Netherlands is used as an example of this housing typology which is increasing in use in Britain.

4.Walking Politics

To experience Sheffield on a personal scale we engaged in a sectional walk.

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