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Because public art suffers from falling between the realms of art and urban planning, it has been neglected in debates both on contemporary art and the future of cities. Art, Space and the City focuses on two roles for art: as decoration within revisioned urban design and as a social process of criticism.
Malcolm Miles applies a range of critical perspectives which have emerged from art criticism, urban design, urban sociology, geography and critical theory--to examine the practice of art for urban public spaces, and asks the artworld how it might contribute to the urban future. Drawing on a wealth of images and examples, including New York, Seattle, London and Tokyo, the author questions the effectiveness of public art in achieving more convivial urban environments, while retaining the idea that imagining the urban future is as much part of a democratic society as using public space.
Exploring the diversity of the roles of professionals and users in the construction of the city, the gendering of space and the ways in which space and citizen are represented, Miles explains how these issues are as relevant to architecture, urban design and planning as they are to public art. After three decades of public art as an often marginalized area within the practice of art, this is the only book to take stock of what it has become and what the future holds for it in the urban setting.