Cover image for Brave new neighborhoods : the privatization of public space
Brave new neighborhoods : the privatization of public space
Kohn, Margaret, 1970-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Routledge, 2004.
Physical Description:
vii, 232 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm

Format :


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HT123 .K64 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Fighting for First Amendment rights is as popular a pastime as ever, but just because you can get on your soapbox doesn't mean anyone will be there to listen. Town squares have emptied out as shoppers decamp for the megamalls; gated communities keep pesky signature gathering activists away; even most internet chatrooms are run by the major media companies. Brave NewNeighborhoodsconsiders what can be done to protect and revitalize our public spaces.

Author Notes

Margaret Kohn is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The loss of public space in North American cities threatens the health of democracy, asserts Kohn (Florida). Shopping malls, residential community associations, and local government restriction of public activities in parks and streets are eroding the First Amendment guarantees of free speech by barring certain kinds of expression deemed contrary to the interests of these private and public entities. This hinders the popular interaction that promotes discourse and understanding of controversial issues. Most seriously, it reinforces existing patterns of cultural and economic segregation by preventing people from having to encounter those who are different and hearing their views. Public spaces with free expression are essential to building social capital among groups with diverse interests. Judicial rulings on First Amendment suits have been ambivalent, but in general have upheld private rights over expressive freedom. Kohn's argument is clearly framed and reinforced with examples from Battery Park City in New York, New Urbanist developments, and gated communities in many places. She calls for greater vigilance to assert and guard this right. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above interested in urban politics, civil liberties, and democratic theory. W. C. Johnson Bethel College (MN)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introductionp. 1
Chapter 2 Weapons of the Wobblies: The Street-Speaking Fightsp. 23
Chapter 3 The Public Forum Doctrinep. 47
Chapter 4 The Mauling of Public Spacep. 69
Chapter 5 God, Caesar, and the Constitutionp. 93
Chapter 6 Brave New Neighborhoodsp. 115
Chapter 7 Battery Park Cityp. 141
Chapter 8 Homeless-Free Zones: Three Critiquesp. 167
Chapter 9 Conclusion: Three Rationales for the Provision of Public Goodsp. 189
Chapter 10 Afterword: No Central Park in Cyberspacep. 207
Indexp. 223