Revitalization of Public Space: From “Non-Places” to Creative Playgrounds

Jekaterina Lavrinec


The aim of this paper is to discuss a mechanism of revitalization of public spaces, focusing on creative tactics, which are used by groups of enthusiasts and public artists. The author argues that creative public actions, such as flash mobs and performances, take part in forming the identity of the place and could be considered as an act of place-making. Referring to the idea that a space is constituted through practices (Merleau-Ponty, de Certeau, Lefebvre, Augé), three components, crucial for “place making” are distinguished: actualization of bodily experience, shared emotional experience, and emerging new solidarities (temporal communities of citizens, who are involved in active reinterpretation of public space). creative public actions reveal a potential of the place by establishing a distance from routine scenarios and by performing alternative use of spatial elements, and it is a periodicity of actions and reorganization of spatial elements that produces long-term impact on the public space. Although applying a distinction between “non-places” and “empty spaces”, which was proposed by Z. Bauman (2000), it could be found, that a short-term playful intervention into spaces, which are “public, but not civic” (such as supermarkets, airports and train stations), could be the most effective tool for initiating interaction among passers-by and reforming the “emotional scape” of the place.


Article in: English

Article published: 2011-10-13

Keyword(s): creative public actions; flash mobs; non-places; bodily and emotional experience

DOI: 10.3846/coactivity.2011.16

Full Text: PDF pdf



1. A Philosophical Topography of Place and Non-Place: Lithuanian Context
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Coactivity: Philosophy, Communication  vol: 24  issue: 2  first page: 108  year: 2016  
doi: 10.3846/cpc.2016.244

Coactivity: Philosophy, Communication / Santalka: Filosofija, Komunikacija ISSN 2029-6320, eISSN 2029-6339
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