Public Space in a Placeless Time: The Reorientation of Sparks Street

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Wong, Winnie




What is the future of public space? With life increasingly shifting online, what becomes of our streets, our squares, our commons? Rapid urbanization around the world has also reinvigorated debates about the right to place. While the pandemic has pushed such issues to the forefront, it is the confluence of intensifying digitalization and displacement that calls for a reconsideration of public space not only as public good, but as dynamic sites of citizenship and community. The subject of perpetual renewal, Sparks Street is a pedestrian mall in Canada's capital that serves as an ideal site to reimagine public space in these incongruous times. How is our relationship to place changing? What does that mean for our sense of place? To present an alternative to conventional placemaking, this thesis project aims to redefine public space as urban destinations that reinforce our identity of, our belonging to, and our connection through place.


Urban and Regional Planning
Public and Social Welfare




Carleton University

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Theses and Dissertations

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