Scholarly article on topic 'Public Space for Marginal People'

Public Space for Marginal People Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

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Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Wakhidah Kurniawati

Abstract Public space is for public use (adapted from Moudon, 1987). A good public space must accommodative for everyone included the marginal, the forgotten, the silent (Badshah, 1996), and an undesirable people. They are informal street vendors; street people, different ability people, women, children, elderly, and others marginalized community. So far, these problems, as well as other social issues are clearly unresolved in the master plan of the city. Cities for the Citizen ‘(Douglas & Friedmann, 1998) serves a slogan. Informal sector and the marginalized become the forgotten elements in urban space (Out of Place, [Yatmo, 2008]). Therefore, a formulation to solve the problems is needed. So, how to create accommodative public space for marginal people and marginal uses? Based on qualitative descriptive method, we will formulate the ideal public space for marginal people. Then the result shows that we need the certainty space for everyone. When there is a written proof upon the space for legality urban plan for the marginalized community, the issues are automatically resolved. When the physical aspects of space can accommodate the space needs of the Forgotten (Badshah, 1996), accommodative public space will be created. Thus, as society will be educated to learn and share, to respect the rights of other users in the city, and consequently the physical quality of the visual city will be better because there are no annexation of space and overlapping activities.

Academic research paper on topic "Public Space for Marginal People"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 36 (2012) 476 - 484

AcE-Bs 2011 Bandung

ASEAN Conference on Environment-Behaviour Studies, Savoy Homann Bidakara Bandung Hotel, Bandung, Indonesia, 15-17 June 2011

Public Space for Marginal People

Wakhidah Kurniawati*

Diponegoro University, Prof.Sudharto SH Street, Semarang, 5026, Indonesia

Abstract

Public space is for public use (adapted from Moudon, 1987). A good public space must accommodative for everyone included the marginal, the forgotten, the silent (Badshah, 1996), and an undesirable people. They are informal street vendors; street people, different ability people, women, children, elderly, and others marginalized community. So far, these problems, as well as other social issues are clearly unresolved in the master plan of the city. "Cities for the Citizen '(Douglas & Friedmann, 1998) serves a slogan. Informal sector and the marginalized become the forgotten elements in urban space (Out of Place, [Yatmo, 2008]). Therefore, a formulation to solve the problems is needed. So, how to create accommodative public space for marginal people and marginal uses? Based on qualitative descriptive method, we will formulate the ideal public space for marginal people. Then the result shows that we need the certainty space for everyone. When there is a written proof upon the space for legality urban plan for the marginalized community, the issues are automatically resolved. When the physical aspects of space can accommodate the space needs of the Forgotten (Badshah, 1996), accommodative public space will be created. Thus, as society will be educated to learn and share, to respect the rights of other users in the city, and consequently the physical quality of the visual city will be better because there are no annexation of space and overlapping activities.

© 2012 Published by Elsevier B.V. Sel ection and/or peer-review un der responsibility of Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies(cE-Bs), Faculty of Architecture , Planning & Surveying,Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia

Keywords: Public space; marginal people; marginal uses

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +62-24-7460054; fax: +62-24-7460054. E-mail address: w4t1ek@yahoo.com.

1877-0428 © 2012 Published by Elsevier B.V. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies(cE-Bs),

Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia

doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.03.052

1. Introduction

According to the Oxford Learner's Pocket Dictionary (1983), we know that public is the opposite of

private or people in general. Space means the unlimited expanse in which all objects are located (Dictionary.com, Random House, 2011). Space is the result of human engineering to accommodate various forms of life, should be room to stimulate human behavior and social life (Setiawan 2004 at Firdaus 2007). The public does not just mean as a society, but the representation of all parties who are citizens of the city, businessmen, civil servants, street vendors, youth and housewives (Syamsura 2005 at Firdaus 2007). So, public space (Wikipedia, cited at 2011) means a social space as a town square that is open and accessible to all, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, and age or socio economic level. There is no fee and no discriminative entrants on background in public space.

Actually, public space has a function as an agglomeration of people, objects and events (Madanipour, 1996:3). Public spaces have at least three basic things those are responsive, democratic and meaningful (Carr, 1992:19). Responsive means that public space should be able to accommodate a variety of activities, interests and desires of the user. Democratic means of public space should be usable by the general public from various social backgrounds, economic and cultural as well as accessible to a variety of human physical condition without any discrimination. Public space must ensure that the various activities and other interests do not interfere with each other. Meaningful means that public space must have a linkage between human, space and the world at large as well as with social context. Public spaces can give meaning or significance to local communities by individuals or groups.

2. Literature Review

2.1. The History and The Role of Public Space

Based on the history of public space in Greek and Rome Period, there was a great role of public space to educate the citizen to share the space for another people. In the Greek period, there was an agora where accommodate people to replace themselves in this space. They can do social activities, trade, and express their opinion to others. In this time, we ever heard the famous Socrates, one the product of the freedom of public space (Gallion, 1986).

Fig. 1. Greek Agora. Source: http://www.wikipedia.org

And in the Rome Period, there was a forum as a great public space. Forum was the center of Roman public life: the site of triumphal processions and elections, venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches, and nucleus of commercial affairs. Here statues and monuments commemorated the

city's great men. The teeming heart of ancient Rome, it has been called the most celebrated meeting place in the world, and in all history (Grant, Michael (1970), The Roman Forum, London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson; cited at Wikipedia March 2011).

From www.romanforum.org (cited at March 2011), we learn that the people in the Forum varied considerably as the day went on. Life in the Forum reached its height at about 11 o'clock each day (the Roman 'fifth hour'). Wheeled vehicles were prohibited from driving through the streets of Rome from sunrise until the Roman 'tenth hour' (4 o'clock in the afternoon) This meant that during the daytime pedestrians alone made up the huge crowds which filled the streets and squares, except for some wealthy people, particularly women, being carried in litters by their slaves. During these busy hours in the city centre there was a tremendous hustle and bustle in the Forum. Sometimes, if a public figure had died, his funeral procession would lead through the Forum. Fathers would traditionally bring their sons to the Forum when their offspring wore his toga for the first time.

As the empire expanded the crowds on the Forum became yet bigger and more colorful. It appeared that nearly every nationality was present on the Forum in the days of empire. Although these are not the perfect example, from these lesson learned, we can conclude that everyone has a same right to express their activities in the public space. There was "no marginal community" in this time.

2.2. The Typical and the Development of Public Space

Tshumi on Madanipour (1996:7) remind us about the important to defining space. One of them is 'to make space distinct'. Public space sometimes is understood as a gathering space. According to Wikipedia definitions (cited at March 2011), we know that most street, including the pavement are considered public space, as are town squares or parks. Public space is commonly shared and created for open usage throughout the community. Everyone has a right to access and use public space.

The type of public space can be divided as square (nodal) and linier (like street and pavement). Public space has a certain hierarchy in city's system. Like town square (alun-alun in Indonesia) for all citizen in the city, park for sub central area, playground for neighborhood.

The development of public space is influenced by the contemporary issue, like: equity in public space (Carr 1992, Madanipour 1996, Badshah 1996, Cooper and Fancis 1997), safety in public space with Defensible Space (by Newman, 1972) and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) by Jeffery 1971 at Matthew 1996, Convivial City, Human Aspect in Urban Form (Rapoport, 1977), and another issues. Day by day, the planner and citizen try to share those ideas in public spaces.

Fig.2. Allow for clear sight lines as one of the safety public space. Source: www.cpted.com.au

2.3. The Marginal as an Important Part of Public Space Users

In addition to these three basic things, user of public space has the rights in its use, among others: the right to access, performs activities, and makes confession and to make changes (Carr, 1992). Freedom to access a public space, this right is the most basic things. Freedom to do activities that is the freedom to use and perform the desired activity but with an awareness that public space is a space for the common good and lawful regulations. The freedom to make changes such as the right to make some changes either temporarily or permanently, because change is an important dimension in the success of a public space, for example, people can bring decorations, picnic tables or badminton net to change the appearance and function of public space.

Sometime, our public space can't accommodate these communities' rights. Then, the communities

become marginalized in public space. Sometime, they are become forgotten, silent, and undesirable people. To be marginal is to be marginalized. Taken broadly, the term "marginalization" evokes a dynamic between two social analytic categories: the "center" (or mainstream), and an area called the "margins." The center is normally associated with dominance, privilege, and power; the margins, with relative powerlessness. To be marginalized is to be placed in the margins, and thus excluded from the privilege and power found at the center. Marginalization is often based on such notions as gender, culture, language, race, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation, socioeconomic position or class, and geographic location. Depending on the context and level of analysis, individuals, groups, organizations, communities, and even entire geopolitical systems can be seen as marginalized (http://www.aoswers.com/topic/margioal-people#ixzz1HDDMOJms cited at March 2011).

Based on Badshah (1996: 22-27), we can divide the marginal community as:

Table 1. The Marginal Communities. Source: Badshah, 1996: 22-27

2.4. The Marginal and Traditional Public Space in Java Island, Indonesia

As another Asian's public space, every historical city in Java Island Indonesia has public space that located at traditional Javanese city center. The traditional public space's name is alun-alun. Alun-alun is a square surrounded by mosque, offices, and market. As a square, alun-alun becomes a gathering space in daily and a festival space in seasonal. There are many activities there, like: sekatenan (Yogyakarta and Solo), ceremony, sport, music festival (Semarang), mosque activities, and others. Actually, everybody can participate in this space. It is free and sometime no charge. But, the problem is there is no enough public space's equipment to everybody, like disabled, elderly, children, and pregnant woman and also breastfeeding mothers. There is no clear zone for hawkers so that they occupy pedestrian ways. And there is no restricted zone for undesirable people like homeless/street people with the result that safety image degradation in this place.

3. Methodology

The Marginal The Forgotten The Silent

The Undesirable people

Women; informal sector The elderly and disabled Children

The homeless or street people

So, how to create accommodative public space for marginal people and marginal uses? Based on qualitative descriptive method, we will formulate the ideal public space for marginal people. After that, we can map the certainty space for everyone.

The steps of this research are: 1) Delineating the boundaries of research area; 2) Identifying the characteristics of marginal communities and activities in research area; 3) Analyzing the preference points of marginal communities; 4) Mapping out the types of marginal communities' pattern space; 5) Designing the certainty space for marginal.

The focal point of this study is the great public space in Semarang City as a new alun-alun that located in Simpaog Lima Semaraog. Simpaog Lima is the most attractive public space in Semaraog, Central Java Province, Indonesia. Simpaog Lima consists of Paocasila square with mix used area surround it. The time observation is arranged from 2005-2009. For this time (2011), Simpaog Lima has been constructed by City Government and Ramayaoa Building changed as Ace Hardware Building in 2010.

4. Result and Discussion

The development of Semarang City moved the traditional public space (alun-alun) to Simpang Lima Semaraog in 1969. Now, Simpaog Lima grows as commercial and recreation centre in Semaraog City. Public activities those occurred daily are shopping, gathering, working, going to the school, going to the mosque, and others. Meanwhile, event activities those occurred weekly or monthly are market festival, car free day, music festival, ceremony and others. As a main destination in Semaraog, most of people come and join there included the marginal. The marginal populations have a special preference point appropriate with their conditions.

Based on Apriliana's research (2003) at Kurniawati (2009) mentioned that visitors Simpang Lima area is dominated by women (66%), with a composition of 44% age 0-25 years old, 34% age 26-45 years old, and 22% over 45 years. While the composition of the type of work are as follows: student 33% (this is possible because there are many schools located in the vicinity of Simpang Lima [SMK 7, SMA 1, Junior 3, Dipooegoro University], employees 27%, 22% civil servants, housewives 15%. As for the age of the children, the number of visitors Simpang Lima is assumed from the population of children in the city of Semarang. The number of people aged children (0-14 years) in the city of Semaraog in 2006 reached nearly 20% (281,431 inhabitants) of the overall population (1,434,025 inhabitants). The largest number in a row are in Sub Peduruogao (16 492 inhabitants), West Semaraog (15 804 inhabitants), and Tembalang (13 604 inhabitants).

Table 2. The Marginal Communities in Simpang Lima Semarang. Source: 1Kurniawati 2009, 3Sophianingrum 2007, 3Rahayu 2005, Kurniawati 2005

The Marginal

Preference Point

Activities

Problems

Women1

Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers (15 respondents)

Teens (22 respondents)

Worker (Adult women) (16 respondents)

The elderly woman

In front of: Simpang Lima Plaza, Ramayana, Citraland, Pahlawan Street Corridor, Court (Super Economy) building, Baiturrahman Mosque and Pancasila Square

Working, Shopping, Eating, Sport, Going to the mosque

Spending time: 2-3 hours, a half a day

No safety space for women

No clear space design for women to participate in public space

No enough equipment's/room for breastfeeding mother

(7 respondents)

Street vendor/informal sector

The disabled

The Totally Blind and low visions

The handicap

Children1

The homeless or street people3

(20 respondents)

Pedestrian ways along the Lapangan Pancasila and in front of commercial area surrounding Lapangan Pancasila

Pedestrian ways along the Lapangan Pancasila and in front of commercial area surrounding Lapangan Pancasila, Lapangan Pancasila

SD Isriati, Baiturrahman Mosque, Lapangan Pancasila

Baiturrahman Mosque, Ciputra Mall, Gajahmada Plaza, Super Economy Building, Lapangan Pancasila

Selling the commodities Preparing the selling place

Spending time: a night (daily), a half a day (weekly)

Listening music festival, Watching market festival, working, going to school (YPAC near Simpang Lima), going to the mosque, sport, shopping

Actually, most of the respondents need an escort to help them

Going to school, Going to the mosque, playing, watching market festival

Working (singers, beggar, newspaper seller, washing dishes), eating, sleeping, taking a bath, washing clothes, kongkow, sport, relaxation, drink alcohol, breath in glue ('ngelem')

Spending time: 5-12 hours, a day

Out of Place, dirt the visual, violating public order [Yatmo, 2008]

Overlapping activities between legal and illegal sector (occupied public space).

Marginal uses of space.

No intensive participation uses of public space from these communities

No clear space design for disabled especially in parking area, height difference in pedestrian ways, crossing circulation with automobile

Need accessible design for disabled

No safety space for children

No enough space for playing and learning

It is illegal to be homeless Violating the public space

1.Lapangan pancasila

2. Jalan Pahlawan

3. Jalan Ahmad Yani

4. Jalan Pandanaran

5. Jalan Erlangga

Fig. 3. Preference Point for all of Marginal Communities in Simpang Lima Semarang. Source: Kurniawati 2009, Sophianingrum 2007, Rahayu 2005, Kurniawati 2005

According to a lot of bad and best practice all the world, we can propose a certainty space for marginal communities in Simpang Lima Semarang as bellows:

Table 3. Designing Space for The Marginal Communities in Simpang Lima Semarang. Sources: From many references, 2011

Empirical Phenomena What should we do?

Street vendor; informal Law enforcement to enabling informal uses in public space

sector at public space. Create the certainty space for informal sector.

Legalize the illegal sector with license like in Singapore and Hongkong

Create the informal sector as an exotic destination like in Malioboro, Yogyakarta and

Thailand

Women in Public Space Create universal/ barrier free design

Create CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design)

Women population as an important count to design a public space

Forgotten aging Enabling aging population like in Singapore and Japan

population and Forgotten Create universal/barrier free design like in Singapore and Curitiba

disabled community

Children Create Convivial City for Children like in Solo Indonesia

Create the certainty space for children playground

Street people, homeless Create CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) in public space

Law enforcement implementation

PPP (Public Private Partnership) like in Flower Street-Curitiba

And, then from the table above we will conclude the ideal and accommodative public space for marginal people. Based on http://www.pps.org/articles/grplacefeat/ (cited at March 2011), Project for Public Space (PPS) has found that successful public spaces have four key qualities: they are accessible; people are engaged in activities there; the space is comfortable and has a good image; and finally, it is a sociable place: one where people meet each other and take people when they come to visit. PPS developed The Place Diagram as a tool to help people in judging any place, good or bad:

number of women, children & elderly social networks

diverse

volunteensm

evening use street life

•Kjh!>

Sociability

proximity

traffic data \ connected mode splits ^ " transit usage ^^H

convenient

p«deMri»n aclivily accealbte

parking usage patterns ^^^H

local business ownership land-use patterns ^^^ property values ^^^ rent levels real I \ retail sales useful indigenous celebratory sustainable

walkable

^^^^Vcrime statistics ^^^sanitation rating ^r building conditions environmental data

^MEASUREMENTS INTANGIBLES | KEY ATTRIBUTES

Fig. 4. The Place Diagram. Sources: www.pps.org.

5. Conclusion

Now, according to Sandercock at Douglas, 1998, we must underline and hear the borderless voices (the marginal people). Then, we need a written proof upon the space for legality urban plan for the marginalized community to resolve the issues. When the physical aspects of space can accommodate the space needs of the Forgotten (Badshah, 1996), accommodative public space will be created. Thus, as society will be educated to learn and share, to respect the rights of other users in the city, and consequently the physical quality of the visual city will be better because there are no annexation of space and overlapping activities. So, we can create the public space for public use (adapted from Moudon, 1987).

Especially for Simpang Lima Semarang, the important keys to enhance this public space as a marginal communities gathering are create accessible space and a universal equipment design for everyone. Last but not least, we need a law enforcement to guide the design implementation.

References

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