Public Space Concepts in Europe and Russia

Participant: Dr. Anna Zhelnina (Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, St. Petersburg State University)

The project addresses the issue of the public space in the post-soviet context and the Western-European concept of the urban public space. There is a need to clarify the specificity of the spatial form and its perception in the Russian and European tradition to answer the question whether it is possible to apply the theories of urban public space elaborated for the European cities for the analysis of the Russian situation. The transition from one concept to another is directly visible as the citizens literally learn to use the public places of the city, as well as they learn to interpret the city as their own and claim their rights for the city space (also in form of social movements). Thus the question of how the public space is interpreted and used is the key issue for comprehending the re-appropriation of the post-soviet city. The project is connected with a research stay in Berlin and Bielefeld and should result in an article publication.

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