Po-Pos

For a bit of Friday fun I’ve got a new word for you – Po-Pos: Privately owned Public open space. Gimicky sure but let’s look a bit closer. Coined by San Francisco based design firm Rebar, Po-Pos are those spaces in a city where the city government has partnered with private developers to create nominally public spaces.

Sometimes, the goal is to take advantage of tax breaks while keeping the space private, by making it inhospitable to the public. The goal of COMMONspace, states Rebar, is “to evaluate, activate and reclaim these spaces as a critical part of the public realm and as a valuable component of San Francisco’s intellectual and artistic commons. We aim to determine, Just how public are these privately-owned public spaces?” [On the Commons]

The group mapped 14 sites across San Francisco. No surprises the blog entry sharing this is now no longer available. But I couldn’t help but think how many there are in Melbourne …. Perhaps I should be asking the people who were involved in Occupy Melbourne. But off the top of my head there is Federation Square, City Square (?), a stack of new office towers that offer a ‘laneway’ walk through at the bottom.. I feel like I’ve just started to scratch the surface of this.

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About Juliette

When Juliette was little, she came home from school and asked her mum in her little teary voice why the other kids at school didn’t like her. Her mum reassured her and said 'Don't worry Juliette, you're just different. That's all.' Since then, aware of her obvious difference to everyone else, Juliette is spending her time doing exactly what people wish to be doing – exactly what she wants. This blog is a celebration of taking a deep breath and just doing it. Currently Juliette can be found sipping tea and gardening somewhere in Central Victoria, Australia with her beloved and their excitable boys. She is also completing her PhD in Civic Agriculture and teaches at RMIT in Sustainable Consumption and Design Activism.

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