Public space  

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Pollice Verso (1872) by Jean-Léon Gérôme
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Pollice Verso (1872) by Jean-Léon Gérôme

"Media, as we know it, first emerged at the beginning of the eighteenth century. Papers, journals, broadsheets, all became widely available in the new created public space of the coffeehouse. [...] The popular market for art and literature liberated writers and artists from the need for court patronage. No longer having to please their sponsors, they could experiment, and speak out as brashly as they wished." --Counterculture Through the Ages (2004) by Ken Goffman, p. 162

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

A public space is a social space that is generally open and accessible to people. Roads (including the pavement), public squares, parks and beaches are typically considered public space. Government buildings which are open to the public, such as public libraries are public space. Although not considered public space, privately owned buildings or property visible from sidewalks and public thoroughfares may affect the public visual landscape, for example, by outdoor advertising. Recently, the concept of Shared space has been advanced to enhance the experience of pedestrians in public space jointly used by automobiles and other vehicles.

Public space has also become something of a touchstone for critical theory in relation to philosophy, (urban) geography, visual art, cultural studies, social studies and urban design. The term 'public space' is also often misconstrued to mean other things such as 'gathering place', which is an element of the larger concept of social space.

One of the earliest examples of public spaces are commons. For example, no fees or paid tickets are required for entry. Non-government-owned malls are examples of 'private space' with the appearance of being 'public space'.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Public space" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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