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Public place as a stage for social life - The relationship between public places & social events

Aim of research study:

The story of the city and its life is complex, challenging and extraordinary. It’s a story that binds the lives and destinies of all inhabitants. The durability and development of the city is, in a way, in debt to these citizens; who utilize the city on the basis of legal, financial, cultural, political and social systems and mechanisms that ensure individual and collective interests. To this end, the city is a focal point of “exchange opportunities”[1] as well as a “repository of a common history”.

How each community member remembers these opportunities and memories, leads us to a set of city events. Events in which citizens tell their history of togetherness and are also reconstructing and recoding it; and events which are occurring in the urban public scene –public place – and reflect the ideas, attitudes and demands of those who have held these events up or being a part of that.

Public place is not only a place with access for all, or a place facilitated by the public sector. Nor is it a leftover of private ownership. It is a place for our imperative social collective life, which clarifies how much and in which way we belong to the community. Public place is akin to a stage in which process of disorientation and reorientation of community structure can be observed; even those which belong to the past, such as monuments and commemorations, as well as those of the present regarding our individual and collective daily life events. Also, it is analogous to a shadow theater whose plays can almost mirror our common future.

My key questions in this research have been: Who builds public place? What is the definition of public and a public place especially in different types of societies? How much of the public makes the public place in different societies? What are the elements and tools for social life in public place? Which kind of events, commemorations and activities are organized in public places, and by whom?

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[1] Some words are displayed here in italics or underlined form. Both refer to key words of research, Italics represent quotes.   

Marzieh Torabi


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