In the three readings it emphasizes that public streets do not belong to all.  In Cahill’s article it discusses that due to police surveillance people of color are stopped consistently, eliminating individual’s rights in public. Cahill states that the police are “securing the streets out of existence” meaning that people of color are being targeted in their communities in order to wipe them out. I don’t believe that It is possible to imagine cities with a culture that shares the rights of public space and how it can be utilized to serve the public without discrimination. In “The right to the sidewalk” the concept of broken windows theory was intended to limit crime, however, police are taking an advantage of it and stopping young people of color due to the fact that they fit some certain criteria of suspicion. Even if its public there are regulations as well as expectations. In “Sweetness in public space: Fallen fruit” it gives the reader an insight on how communities can come together in order to share the public rightfully. However, even with multiple attempts such as mapping and creating jam that is free to the people, it displayed that “the object of the fruit is a reflection of us, an index of our values”.  When it was free to the public the value decreased its value, differentiating the meaning of public and private space. Trees are giving off free fruit, that tend to rot due to people not acknowledging it. Even when trying to distribute these maps where it points out locations of the fruits it wasn’t something they needed, instead they seek out warm meals and shelter. Although it’s out for the public, the public don’t utilize public space to their advantage. Instead, it decreases values and decreases the culture of the neighborhood. In “Some unresolved constitutional questions” by Eisenberg, it also discusses the separation between a public place and a private one. The first amendment respects freedom of speech, however, in the article it questions whether that still applies to privately owned public space. The occupy wall street was an example where the first amendment was looked over, once the police started to regulate the area in order to tame crowds. Although Zuccotti park is for the public it is “a covenant that ran with the land” meaning that the real estate agreement of ownership are tied with the land . The protestors were put into confinement if they weren’t following the police’s unwritten rules, going against the first amendment to express oneself. Overall, in all three articles It discuss the fine line between what is for the public and what Is ought to be for the public but isn’t. Although sidewalks and public parks are made to serve the public it does not. It suppresses individuals born rights to be able to walk without being stopped or to protest against something that is important to them.

One thought on “AshwagMokbel_Blog2

  1. Christopher Swift

    Excellent summary of the articles, but you didn’t fully respond to the Blog question prompt. If truly free public spaces do not exist presently, how might they look in a different society/time? Like many other students, you focused more on the present condition without trying to imagine the future. The blog prompt was: “What might this culture look like? What obstacles to civic participation and sharing must be overcome?” In general, blogs in this class are places to exercise your imagination.


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