It is well documented that the ways we design and manage urban public spaces contribute to the exclusion of certain groups of people. Still the ways we can design and manage urban public space to include rather than exclude people is doubtful. Why is this? An argument is that public space always includes some while it excludes some others. This view could and must be challenged by design. If we have been designing public spaces serving elites, or the majority and excluding or marginalizing the Other – sexism and patriarchy disadvantaging almost half of human population – then we must be capable of intentionally designing public spaces so that they are inclusive rather than exclusive. If we agree that public space in our cities partly represents as well as shapes our ideas of democracy and participation then we may intentionally design public space for Democracy.
Fields of Action
It sets a stage on which diverse actors can come together and democratically collaborate in shaping their present and future world. It engages diverse people and publics in co-design and co-production processes concerning different aspects of their everyday life.
It refers to all the design initiatives that are particularly responsive to the goals of democracy. It may deal with the provision of basic human rights (such as access to food, shelter, health care, and education) and, more in general, with the transition towards a more resilient, fair and sustainable society.
It addresses the structural elements that function as frames and regulators of human action in a democratic system. It focuses on institutions (such as: branches of government, agencies, bureaus, courts, and offices) and procedures (such as: laws, regulations, rules, and protocols).