Debate 2 – Play / Space: innovation in the 21st century metropolis

Continuing the theme of ‘who owns culture?’, the premise of this second session is to discuss and develop ideas of the outside in the urban setting.  The vacant symbols of past occupation haunt the spaces of Crystal Palace park, and in those too there can be inspiration. The panel will reflect on the social and physical benefits of ‘play’ and ‘space’ with multi-generational use.

Questions to be asked and debated include: how do people interact with the park? what are the methods for engagement to provide a catalyst for sustained, safer use? Discussion will include practical aspects of design and management for facilitating an open learning resource, creating opportunity for play and keeping the sense of open, democratic space. Alternative trajectories for the park as a community benefit across all ages will also be considered.

The concept of the park can be used to reinforce community ties, and as Crystal Palace sits across five boroughs, the aspect of it being ‘on the edge’ of geopolitical borderlines provides an energy that makes it a special place. The panel will debate the question whether through stakeholder involvement, is it possible to mesh consensus with differences to maintain the rich urban vitality in the future?

Debate 2: Play / Space: innovation in the 21st century metropolis, 28 May at 7:30pm, Salvation Army Worship Hall, Westow Street, Upper Norwood

Guest chair: Katharine Heron, Professor of Architecture, University of Westminster


David Burchett, operations manager, Learning through Landscapes

Carlos Cortes, visual and movement artist whose practice involves public space and communities

Tim Gill, writer and consultant, Rethinking Childhood

Saskia Sassen, Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology, Columbia University, Co-Chair, Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University

Ben Stringer, academic, trustee Oxford City Farm Project

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