Low-income People Need Public Spaces the Most | On the Commons
September 20, 2012 Leave a comment
In this post, Jay Walljasper of the Project for Public Spaces argues for the progressive nature of public spaces. he cites Enrique Peñalosa, former mayor of Bogotá, Columbia, saying that the rich have “big homes, backyards, private clubs and country houses,” while the poor rely on public spaces—streets, parks, libraries, etc. He argues that they are just as important as hospitals and schools. Walljasper also emphasizes the importance of public spaces in emerging democracies, from Eastern Europe of the 1980s and 90s, to post-apartheid South Africa, to the squares of the Arab Spring. He warns about the dangers of cars and highways as status symbols for individuals and governments in the developing world. We in the West have gone down that path and are just beginning to see our mistakes; let’s hope that the nations still developing will skip that hazard.