How to be Truly Open: Rethinking Public Spaces in the Post-Covid City

This resource looks at the publicness of public spaces and how open and inviting these are for people who do not want (or have the capacity to) spend money to participate in them. It argues that Covid-19 and the way we conceptualize public spaces during and after the pandemic, can be an opportunity for local authorities to create new planning instruments to improve accessibility to inclusive open spaces.

Date added 11 January 2022
Last updated 11 January 2022

This resource explains that through the last few decades, there has been a commodification of public urban spaces, meaning that they have become places of consumption rather than spaces for people to gather and interact without having to pay for stuff.

This is because public spaces are often developed as part of a private/public partnerships, turning them into pseudo-public spaces including the installation of a market, for example.

Covid-19 has shown that there is an appetite for public spaces, and there is a need to rethink existing norms.

This resource argues for the need to strengthen an already existing trend in urban development: co-creation and participation. That is, bottom-up approaches that can help to question existing norms and include the needs of citizens in the design of new - and transformation of - existing spaces, in ways that are free, open, accessible, and inclusive.