In 2011, at the C.M.A., we discussed what makes a truly public space. The problems and debates around public space have intensified in recent years, approaching different scientific communities and perspectives. It is generally believed that public space is a key part of the city. However, most people seem to ignore that goes beyond the boundaries of their property and the current leading authority is unable to reverse this dynamic. Is it therefore the designation ‘public’ real, or does it merely provide what is left from private space? Why do people occupy a public place-or reject it, they claim it-or ignore it, they use it-or exploit it?
The lectures took place on the 4th and 5th of June and we searched for strategies and applications that will provide us a truly public character of the space through 4 approaching perspectives:
1. The relationship between private and public space. The management of the boundary (fence it or not)
2. Participatory processes in the design / implementation of public space
3. Design principles of public space with particular reference to the micro-climate and the needs of the region
4. The timelessness of public space as expressed through managing monuments and monumental sets.
The debate was transformed into a living experience outside the field of the Center for Mediterranean Architecture. It transformed into action in a public place and includes various events and interventions in the urban area of Chania, focusing on the relation of the public space of the city with its resident and visitor.
Additionally, that year, an urban experiment was attempted to the immediate restoration of the relationship between public area of the city with a resident.
With the participation of residents and through voluntary work, we transformed an urban space in the neighborhood of Amperia, into a different public, occupied at last by most of those who contributed to its construction.
The discussions and actions took place in Chania the four-day June 3-6, 2011.