The Public Sector
TU Wien Bibliothek
The Public Sector
TU Wien Bibliothek

Journal Article

Title Vienna Town Hall Square
being put into place between Festivalization and the Right to Public Space
Author Krisch, Astrid orcid logo ; Hiltgartner, Karin
Published on 02 Aug 2019
Published by Technische Universität Wien
Published in Volume 45 • Issue 2 • 2019 , pages 37-46
AC AC15446499
DOI 10.34749/oes.2019.3260
URN urn:nbn:at:at-ubtuw:4-3260


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Abstract (English)

In our globalised, interconnected and increasingly competitive world, the importance of public space is often highlighted. This article aims at connecting the concept of public space to the concept of social infrastructure to point to the underlying and indispensable nature of public space. It builds on the assumption that public space is the physical manifestation of the interconnection between global urban processes and local tendencies where dynamics of festivalization and restricted access are on the rise. The town hall square in Vienna and its seasonal use for different festivals and events serves as the empirical case. The square, situated in the centre of the city, shows powerful dynamics within the production of public space and gives interesting insights into the prevalent global and local tendencies of urban politics. A two-step approach towards the deconstruction of social infrastructure for the conception of public space is introduced. Using the notion of social infrastructure allows to connect public space as a product as a physical place and organizational structure, which allows people to interact to its process its interpretative context, where meaning and value is assigned through the material context. The notion of the right to the city is applied to formulate an alternative approach for a right to public space. This allows for a multi-dimensional approach, which is necessary to grasp the multiplicity of perspectives and complexity of issues manifesting in public space. The aim of the paper is to understand how representational public space is used and which role the understanding of the right to the city plays in reclaiming public space as a form of social infrastructure.


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