Rosalyn Deutsche sobre los conflictos del espacio público aquí. Es la transcripción de una ponencia antiquísima (1998!) y lleva bastante tiempo en la red, pero merece la pena darle un vistazo. Un par de pasajes:
Yet democracy itself is an extremely embattled concept. Indeed, the discourse about public space that has erupted over the last decade in art, architecture, and urban studies is inseparable from a far more extensive eruption of debates about the meaning of “democracy”—debates taking place in many arenas: political philosophy, new social movements, educational theory, legal studies, mass media and popular culture. The term “public space” is one component of a rhetoric of democracy that, in some of its most widespread forms, is used to justify less than democratic policies: the creation of exclusionary urban spaces, state coercion and censorship, surveillance, economic privatization, the repression of differences and attacks on the rights of the most expendable members of society, on the rights of strangers and on the very idea of rights—on what Hannah Arendt called “the right to have rights.”
The very blatant example of Jackson Park can help us tease out the steps by which the democratic concept of “public space” is mobilized in an authoritarian direction. The first step is to endow the space with an objective source of meaning that dictates its function—”a park is a park.” The second step is to claim that this source authorizes the exercise of power by the guardian of public space—city government. Implicit in this claim is the idea that the guardians of public space, those who exercise power there, are ensuring that the park is used by its proper owners in accordance with its proper identity. Ultimately, the claim is that public space has an incontestable meaning from which power derives its legitimacy. And the certainty that power has an external guarantee, lying outside politics, is the hallmark of what many consider a distinctly undemocratic power and a distinctly authoritarian discourse about public space. Let me be clear: This does not mean that exercising power or making decisions about the uses of space are in themselves undemocratic, only that appealing to a transcendent basis of decisions is. Indeed, such appeals conceal the fact that decisions are made, suggesting instead that answers to social questions are given in advance of political struggle.