Josh at TPM has been saying about how private companies (notably facebook) have taken over the ‘public square’ – the place where issues are talked and argued
In planning, we call it a 'third space' - that place designed into cities and neighbourhoods where people meet up, play a game, etc.
It's noticeable that in Japan and Europe these third spaces are always full of people passing the time of day. Here in NZ, and in the US as well - they more get designed for people to pass through (whether on a bike, or having a walk/jog, etc.) as opposed to places to just sit down and have a yarn or a game of checkers.
Yeah; I do wonder if it’s at least in part a deliberate attempt to “move on” the yoof and the homeless (cf. Hostile urban architecture).
Notable exceptions: some parts of the Wellington waterfront, and the interior of Reading Cinema.
Thanks for your reply Rob. This struck a chord with me:
how private companies (notably facebook) have taken over the ‘public square’
In that for me it brings into focus that recourse by commentators to repeat the old cliché – as issued here by Simon Bridges in this anonymous editorial for Radio New Zealand:
“Universities for centuries have been the bastions of free speech,”
When in actuality universities are by and large not in the least “bastions of free speech” – Toddy across the road’s back veranda is more of a bastion of free speech, universities – by contrast – have for centuries been bastions of western colonial-imperialist-patriarchal epistemology and latterly capitalism. Which is why they won’t teach you how to make LSD or what the Colonel’s 13 herbs and spices are, which is why, when I matriculated – the interest the State was charging on the loan facilitating my study was 7.2% – almost double the current mortgage rate of 3.95%.
Tellingly in the discourse little connection was made between tertiary and secondary or even primary education – would the public response have been different had Jan Thomas been a secondary principal vetoing a visit by the ex-Governor? I somehow doubt such a decision would be subjected to the same scrutiny – there’s considerably less mythologisation around the place of secondary education as a “bastion of freedom of speech” though the conditions are vaguely identical – pre-tertiary education remains considerably more accessible.
most of us never get close to having such a platform.
which is the rub for me – having been expelled from Massey when our team haxxed and cleaned out a Coca~Cola® vending machine predatorily situated outside our halls of residence, all too aware of how private companies have taken over the ‘public square’. Bastions of Commerce; sure, Bastions of extortionate lending; absolutely, Bastions of maintaining the status quo; 100%. The most newsworthy feature of Brash’s ban simply being the disdain shown for a member of the elite.
which is something of a digression from what you’re talking about but I thought it worth revisiting – having taken a mosey along that slippery slope, noting that issue at least appears to have passed as the contextually merited one-off it always appeared to be – without – as so many eminent palefaces predicted – the sky falling on our heads.
Thanks so much for that and thank you for you!