about the initiatives
2020 passes in a blink.
COVID-19 completely changes our world, our work, our school and our daily life routine. COVID-19 also changes the public space where we for the first time have to stay away with during global lockdown, spaces where we perhaps took for granted for joyous gatherings, block parties, after-school hangouts, parks where we share experiences, exchange a thought, bump into neighbours and colleagues, have become cold spaces for disseminating hygiene items and food supplies, testing cases, or otherwise deserted and fenced off. Yet, at the same time, new spaces emerge, bike lanes, pedestrianized zones, pop-up installations, eateries and street stalls have found their ways in many cities and administrations.
Here at the Journal of Public Space and Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), we public space scholars, practitioners, and activists across the globe have spent the year exploring an array of aspects of public space, believing that we can build social and health resilience by establishing an open environment for discussion and learning while taking advantage of technology and virtual platforms that many can currently access for free. As the pandemic moves across different continents and urban conditions, cross-country and cross-sector research has commenced with the support from WUN, results are to be published by the end of the year.
In parallel, Luisa Bravo (City Space Architecture) and Hendrik Tieben (School of Architecture at The Chinese University of Hong Kong) jointly developed and curated the initiative "2020: A Year without Public Space under the COVID-19 Pandemic". The initiative entails 20 weekly webinars inviting experts and practitioners to share their experiences and insights on extensive topics related to public space, a global online design studio, a special issue of 'The Journal of Public Space' to be launched, and will examine the development of further online courses.
On 6-7 November, the International symposium "2020 A Year Without Public Space: Reflection & Outlook" hosted by CUHK is the culmination point of the above initiatives, as well as a time to look back, reflect and plan ahead for 2021.
Our Journey: Webinars
Our Journey: Symposium