ADPSR board member Jeffery Hou's essay on civic action was just published in Design Observer/Places. The essay is an excerpt from his chapter in Beyond Zuccotti Park: Freedom of Assembly and the Occupation of Public Space. The book explores the definition, use, role, and importance of public space for the exercise of demoncratic rights to free expression. Hou shifts the emphasis from physical space to citizen action. We need to focus not just on ensuring the right to public assembly, he writes, but also on "the making and mobilization of the public as an actively engaged citizenry." It is this that "enables a public space to remain public and continue to serve as vehicle -- a building block -- of our participatory democracy."
Here's a link to the Design Observer/Places essay.
Jeffery Hou is associate professor and chair of landscape architecture at the University of Washington, Seattle.