This first chapter introduces the concept of public space and seeks to explore the complexity of both public space as a concept, its use and users, and the management of public space as an aspiration and set of activities. The chapter is in three parts. In the first section, the inspirations and objectives underpinning the writing of the book are presented in order to establish the purpose of the book, and equally its limitations. A brief overview of how the book is structured is included here. This is followed by a second section in which public space is deconstructed. This is done in order to draw out and understand the physical and human components of urban public space, in other words, the subjects of management. The third section draws out and discusses the welter of roles and responsibilities for actually managing public space.