polis: a collective blog about cities worldwide

Matthew Carmona et al. on Managing Public Space

"[Problems associated with the traditional, state-centered model of public space management include] clear separation of policy conception and service delivery leading to a fragmentation of the different components of public space management; rigidity in dealing with varying contexts, including the ability to deliver fine-tuned variation of basic services; a disjuncture between people's perception of issues and those of specialised service deliverers; issues of costs and cut-backs; and a lack of responsiveness to changing needs and demands. It was precisely the growing realisation of those negative consequences of the traditional model of public space management that raised the need to re-think management systems.

"However, this model can encompass attempts to tackle these negative aspects of traditional practice in ways that still retain the positive elements of state-controlled public service delivery with its public-service ethos and democratically accountable system. Indeed, the main strength of this model is that it is based on visible and widely acceptable lines of accountability, as service planning and delivery are directly subject to established mechanisms of elected local democracy. Moreover, it maintains clear lines of demarcation between the public and private spheres and therefore sets a clear, easily understood framework of responsibilities, of property rights, ownership, and of public rights and duties."

Matthew Carmona, Claudio de Magalhães and Leo Hammond, from Public Space: The Management Dimension, 2008

This is part of a collection of quotes related to cities. They don't necessarily reflect our views, just things that may be interesting. Please feel welcome to add others.

Credits: Photo of the statue of Lenin across from Pushkin Park in Vladimir, Russia, by Peter Sigrist.