Is the public character of urban space under severe pressure, as much scientific literature suggests? By a meticulous study of three squares in the Dutch cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht, Linda Zuijderwijk shows that the demise of the public nature of urban space lacks empirical underpinning.
Based on an analysis of everyday practices of producing, regulating and using public space, Zuijderwijk argues that the changing composition of the urban population, public authorities largely subcontracting the management and production of urban space to external parties and the development of urban citizenship, are main factors shaping the ‘publicness’ of urban space. The book closes with some final reflections and questions for urban policy makers about how to deal with urban space and the preservation of its public character.

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J.P.L. Burgers (Jack) , J. Rath (Jan)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Department of Public Administration and Sociology (DPAS)