Why redesign streets: the death of public space?

Vitruvius streets in the Renaissance suggested how drama of city life and country life were acted out in public sphere, where the comic scene, tragic scene and satyric scene were spaces allowing critique and observation of the other. Streets have evolved since, the invention of modern streets in the 19th century celebrates vehicles, circulation, safety and efficiency.  In the 21st century, along with the emergence of social networking and virtual communicative platform, the expansion of metropolitans, we witness the fall of the public domain in built environment. The street is a space to understand and formulate the mentality of an individual in the crowd in public. If the lifestyle of flaneur was a result of consumerism in the 19th century, where the arcade is the space where the man is sundry by all, but undiscoverable in the blasé condition. What could be new scenarios or reconfiguration or even invention of modern street typology to accommodate new lifestyles, conditions and mentality of the public in 21st century? Streets are outdated. Lifestyle is a mentality of desire and fear generated by the media and expressed in public space. In the age and speed of information exchange it is impossible to generalise specific lifestyles of the century; unlike the specific flaneur of the 19th century. On the public streets in major European cities, similar conditions occur where public streets have evolved into an age of terror, a condition of individual isolation, desires to connect the physical world with the virtual. How do we celebrate scenes of communal desire, personal desire and communicative desire in public streets?

However, the desire to use the public streets as a scene for drama and social interaction is still evident, how do we celebrate the delay in space to stretch the functions of streets?




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