Through an exploration of emancipation in recent processes of capitalist urbanization, this book argues the political is enacted through the everyday practices of publics producing space. This suggests democracy is a spatial practice rather than an abstract professional field organized by institutions, politicians and movements.

Public Space Unbound brings together a cross-disciplinary group of scholars to examine spaces, conditions and circumstances in which emancipatory practices impact the everyday life of citizens. We ask: How do emancipatory practices relate with public space under ‘post-political conditions’? In a time when democracy, solidarity and utopias are in crisis, we argue that productive emancipatory claims already exist in the lived space of everyday life rather than in the expectation of urban revolution and future progress.



part |19 pages


chapter 1|17 pages

Space, Emancipation and Post-Political Urbanization

BySabine Knierbein, Tihomir Viderman

part I|61 pages

Everyday Emancipation. Beyond Utopia, Law and Institutions

chapter 2|15 pages

Amazon Unbound

Utopian Dialectics of Planetary Urbanization
ByJaphy Wilson

chapter 3|16 pages

Applying a Relational Approach to Political Difference

Strategies of Particularization and Universalization in Contesting Urban Development
ByElisabet Van Wymeersch, Stijn Oosterlynck

chapter 4|15 pages

How to Reclaim Mafia-Controlled Territory?

An Emancipatory Experience in Southern Italy
ByGabriella Esposito De Vita

chapter 5|13 pages

Improvising an Urban Commons of the Streets

Emancipation-From, Emancipation-To and Co-Emancipation
ByRob Shields

part II|58 pages

Practical Emancipation. On Places, Projects and Events

chapter 6|14 pages

Rupturing, Accreting and Bridging

Everyday Insurgencies and Emancipatory City-Making in East Asia
ByJeffrey Hou

chapter 7|14 pages

Post-Political Development and Emancipation

Urban Participatory Projects in Helsinki
ByKanerva Kuokkanen, Emilia Palonen

chapter 8|14 pages

Urban Events Under the Post-Political Condition

(Im)Possibilities for Emancipation in a Small-Scale City of Switzerland
ByMonika Salzbrunn, Barbara Dellwo, Serjara Aleman

chapter 9|14 pages

Emancipatory Research in the Arts

Shift the City—the Temporary Lab of Non | Permanent Space
ByAmila Širbegović

part III|66 pages

Critical Emancipation. On Romanticisms, Agonism and Liberation

chapter 10|15 pages

Alternative Participatory Planning Practices in the Global South

Learning From Co-Production Processes in Informal Communities
ByVanessa Watson, Gilbert Siame

chapter 11|15 pages

Revitalizing the Yeldeğirmeni Neighbourhood in Istanbul

Towards an Emancipatory Urban Design in the Landscapes of Neoliberal Urbanism
ByBurcu Yigit Turan

chapter 12|16 pages

Conflict vs. Consensus

An Emancipatory Understanding of Planning in a Pluralist Society
ByAngelika Gabauer

chapter 13|18 pages

Public Space Activism in Unstable Contexts

Emancipation From Beirut’s Postmemory
ByChristine Mady

part IV|59 pages

Active Emancipation. On Influence, Recovery and Hybrid Ownership

chapter 14|16 pages

‘The City Decides!’

Political Standstill and Social Movements in Post-Industrial Naples
ByStefania Ragozino, Andrea Varriale

chapter 15|14 pages

Emancipatory Practices of Self-Organized Workers in the Context of Neoliberal Policies

IMPA, the Case of a ‘Recovered Factory’ in Buenos Aires
ByRegina Vidosa, Paula Rosa

chapter 16|12 pages

Questioning Urban Commons

Challenges and Potentials in the Post-Democratic Era
ByLukas Franta, Alexander Hamedinger

chapter 17|15 pages

Hybridizing ‘Ownership’ of Public Space

Framings of Urban Emancipation in Crisis-Ridden Thessaloniki
ByEvangelia Athanassiou, Charis Christodoulou, Matina Kapsali, Maria Karagianni

part |14 pages


chapter 18|12 pages

Public Space Unbound

Emancipatory Praxis and Lived Space
ByTihomir Viderman, Sabine Knierbein