polis: a collective blog about cities worldwide

Jeffrey Hou on Insurgent Public Space

"The making of insurgent public space suggests a mode of city making that is different from the institutionalized notion of urbanism and its association with master-planning and policy making. Unlike the conventional practice of urban planning, which tends to be dominated by professionals and experts, the instances of insurgent public space suggests the ability of citizen groups and individuals to play a distinctive role in shaping the contemporary urban environment in defiance of the official rules and regulations. Rather than being subjected to planning regulations or the often limited participatory opportunities, citizens and citizen groups can undertake initiatives on their own to effect changes. The instances of self-help and defiance are best characterized as a practice of guerrilla urbanism that recognizes both the ability of citizens and opportunities in the existing urban condition for radical everyday changes against the dominant forces of the city."

Jeoffrey Hou, from "Insurgent Public Space: Guerrilla Urbanism and the Remaking of Contemporary Cities," 2010

This is part of a collection of quotes related to cities. They don't necessarily reflect our views, just topics of interest. We welcome you to add others.

Credits: Photo of Occupy Cal and Occupy Oakland rally at Berkeley's Sproul Hall by Hector Fernando Burga.

+ share