The public and private space debate is one of the fundamental issues at the heart of the urban environment and the city. In contemporary times there is a rapid shift between the two, which feeds fear, class struggles, and produces non – spaces.
The essay explores these relationships and how our consumer culture feeds the balance of these realms, ultimately, leading to appeasing the middle classes, bring them back into the city in an attempt to regenerate and produce economic investment.
Exploring the creation of a public atmosphere in a privately controlled space (the shopping mall) will highlight how consumer needs are attended to, but more so how the movement of people is manipulated to encourage greater consumption. Exploring who is allowed in these seemingly ‘public’ spaces and how this feeds into the class struggles.
Privatisation of spaces creating class frictions will be explored further by understanding housing as a commodity and the fear that is installed in middles class living in deprived areas. Leading to an atmosphere of fear, and the fear of crime becoming palpable and stronger than crime itself.
Many spaces are visited around the world because of their perceived public atmosphere, but in essence are they public? Or does the maintenance (via private organizations) of an image resulting in the space becoming a wax museum damage the public atmosphere and turn these spaces into non – spaces. The image is used through media to construct memories in viewers resulting in a consumption of space through tourism urges.
This essay seeks to unveil what is left of truly public spaces and just how necessary private control is to maintain these spaces, or is it simply an act of spatial exclusion creating boundaries in the community.