Staging city events in public spaces: an urban design perspective

Smith, A., Vodicka, G., Colombo, A., Lindström K., McGillivray, D. and Quinn, B. 2021. Staging city events in public spaces: an urban design perspective . International Journal of Events and Festival Management. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEFM-10-2020-0063

TitleStaging city events in public spaces: an urban design perspective
TypeJournal article
AuthorsSmith, A., Vodicka, G., Colombo, A., Lindström K., McGillivray, D. and Quinn, B.
Abstract

Purpose

There are two main aims of this conceptual paper. The first is to explore the issues associated with staging events in public spaces, and to produce a typology of different event spaces. The second is to explore if and how events should be designed into parks, streets and squares and whether this might reduce some of the negative impacts and associated user conflicts.

Approach

The paper analyses the history, drivers and effects of using public spaces as venues and examines the reciprocal relationships between events and the spaces that host them. To explain the range and dynamics of contemporary events, a typology of event spaces is developed. This typology highlights nine different types of event spaces which are differentiated by the level of public accessibility (free entry, sometimes free, paid entry), and the mobility of event audiences (static, limited mobility, mobile). Using this typology, the paper discusses ways that public spaces might be adapted to make them better suited to staging events. This discussion is illustrated by a range of examples.

Findings

The paper finds that it makes practical sense to adapt some urban public spaces to make them better equipped as venues, but designing in events presents new issues and does not necessarily resolve many of the problems associated with staging events. Disputes over events are inevitable and constituent features of public spaces.

Originality

This paper makes an original contribution by developing a new classification of event spaces and by synthesising ideas from urban design with ideas from the events literature.

Keywordsprogramming
animation
commercialisation
festivals
activation
cities
design
space
festivalisation
parks
streets
squares
JournalInternational Journal of Events and Festival Management
ISSN1758-2954
Year2021
PublisherEmerald
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEFM-10-2020-0063

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