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Privatisation of the public realm

Poole, Simon Richard; (1995) Privatisation of the public realm. Masters thesis (M.Phil), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This thesis aims to evaluate the causes, processes and consequences of the privatisation of the public realm and assess the implications for urban public life and for those involved in the design, administration and control of the public realm. The principal element of the study is the development and application of a methodology for the evaluation and comparative analysis of the "publicness" of urban spaces. "Privatisation of the public realm" is a phrase used in a multitude of contexts to describe various aspects of the processes and consequences of contemporary development, urban planning and everyday life. The first part of the thesis defines the field of study through a discussion of the concepts "public", "public space" and the "public realm", and assesses the public realm's value for the fulfilment of social, political, moral and psychological human needs and desires. The impact of privatisation on the public realm, both as a decline in public social life and as a dominant political philosophy, is explored through a discussion of relevant literature. The second part of the study develops a methodology for the evaluation of the relative "publicness" of urban spaces by expanding upon the concepts of "democratic public space" and "spatial rights". In Part III this framework is applied to two broad areas of case study investigation in Central London; the Broadgate office development and adjacent Liverpool Street Station in the City of London, and Leicester Square and the Trocadero retail and amusement complex in London's West End. The study concludes by assessing the validity of the approach adopted and by appraising the implications derived from the case studies for the procurement, design and management of a "vital", democratic and truly public, public realm.

Type: Thesis (Masters)
Qualification: M.Phil
Title: Privatisation of the public realm
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Philosophy, religion and theology; Privatisation; Public realm
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10105974
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