Hong Kong / Shaping Public Space by Citizens
There are a lot of components help build a successful public space but which are the most influential factors? (Here, successful in terms of basic definition, the public would enjoy going to such kind of space.)
From Umbrella Movement, we can see a public space organized by the people not the Government. Take the occupied area in Admiralty as example. We can find a wide range of social activities within the area. Below are some referencing photos.
When walking around in Admiralty, one can find that a lot of citizens come with their cameras to take photos of different art installations and some of them even stop to listen to the speakers at Umbrella Plaza (a gathering point next to the exit of Admiralty MTR Station under the footbridge). These citizens might not have a stance on whether support the movement or not, but they somehow come to this area, this temporary public space, because of its attraction. Ironically, compared to other public space in Hong Kong, this illegal temporary public space had much more visits by the local.
This kind of bottom-up approach taken in Umbrella Movement on how to manage the public space is more efficient and should be taken into account by the people in power. Instead of having a top-down control on the public space, the other way round can leash the limits and potential of the public space. In fact, if public space belongs the public, why putting banners would be an illegal act? In my own experience, once I tried to sit on a short stone wall (about 1m high) in Tamar Park, and was immediately being asked not to do so by a security. In Hong Kong, public spaces are highly controlled by the government and sadly, we have not much freedom to choose the way we want to be in an open space.
Apple Daily. (2014) 佔領之後公共空間誰屬？. [Online] Available from: http://green.appledaily.com/feature/20141111/10399718/%E4%BD%94%E9%A0%98%E4%B9%8B%E5%BE%8C-%E5%85%AC%E5%85%B1%E7%A9%BA%E9%96%93%E8%AA%B0%E5%B1%AC. [Accessed: 19th December 2014].
Hong Kong Public Space Initiative, Hong Kong In-media. (2014) 佔領運動對公共空間的啟示. [Online] Available from: http://www.inmediahk.net/node/1027559. [Accessed: 19th December 2014].