Civic space: questions of society, history and politics to make a new public space

Bachelor thesis English OPEN
Dinneen, Marian (2012)
  • Publisher: School of Architecture, University of Limerick
  • Subject: architecture | civic space | Limierick City

non-peer-reviewed The ambition of my thesis project is to design civic space, space for civic engagement. Taking inspiration from the various voices who have identified a democratic crisis and who are themselves more civilly engaged, I am designing for a society that has revolutionised itself to be more active in its own governance. I propose an alternative local government whose public face is dissolved into the street into an aggregation of rooms rather than one institutional building. The design is concerned with spaces that have the characteristics of the society inhabiting them, transparency, accessibility and inclusivity. These are spaces for citizenship, spaces to gather and discuss, spaces to argue and debate; but also to celebrate and take pride in shared identity. I propose my design for Limerick City, whose governing structures are being re-evaluated as it is amalgamated with Limerick County. My vision extends further than the line between neighbours being razed, but this move has open up a conversation about what the new entity could be. I propose a space that is common to all, for collective action. A space where public concerns are addressed, with a sense of permanence; an informal noninstitutional space. I imagine large public spaces for gathering but also smaller space for organised and influential groups to meet and lobby. Above all else, I am describing a space for active civic engagement.
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