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The Architecture Centre
Narrow Quay

Tue 15 Oct 2019
18:00 - 19:30

£10 / £5 (Members)

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As public spaces move increasingly into private ownership, how should we take this into account when designing our cities?

The curious acronym POPS in fact stands for ‘privately-owned public space’.

While our public realm was once publicly owned, today (and particularly in an age of austerity) it is increasingly ‘adopted’ by private companies. The celebrated Granary Square in London and Wapping Wharf in Bristol are just two examples.

Is this a pragmatic solution to the maintenance crisis? Do we end up with higher quality spaces for everyone? …or does it change our relationship with public space forever?

We will be discussing what ownership means for the future of the public realm in Bristol, and how we need to take this into account when designing our cities.




Antonia Layard and Fin McNab
Antonia is a Professor of Law at the University of Bristol working and publishing on the legal context of place-making, with an emphasis on how legal rules construct cities and the ‘local’. Fin is an urban designer who sits on the CABE Design Council. They will be talking about their joint research project – public space and the urban right to roam.

Robbie Gillet
Robbie is one of the founders of AdBlock Bristol, a campaign which is trying to make Bristol the first UK city to follow in the footsteps of cities like Sao Paolo and Grenoble and ban corporate advertising from its public space, perhaps replacing it with works of art.