Urban Space and Revolutionary Change

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An excerpt from the glowing review by Janey Lee posted on October 15, 2012 on This Big City entitled “Urban Space and Revolutionary Change: A Book Review of Beyond Zuccotti Park“:

Dedicated to “our grandkids, their friends, and their generation”, the collection of works truly takes a visionary approach by offering solutions and recommendations to the problem of decreasing public engagement for current and future generations. Anyone who wishes to spark change and engage ordinary citizens in a discourse that is rightfully theirs will be inspired by this book.


Beyond Zuccotti Park was a particularly fascinating read because of its multitude of perspectives. Authors range from activists who actually participated in the protests at Occupy Wall Street to those who witnessed change in other countries like Iran, and finally to leaders of organizations that help shape public spaces in New York City. They use references from other movements in other places; for example, professor and doctor Mindy Fullilove of Columbia University gives a fascinating account of Occupy Pittsburgh and the humble origins of Freedom Corner, and Iranians Sadra Shahab (urban planner and civil rights activist) and Shirin Barghi (journalist) offer an insightful comparison between the consequences of public protests in Iran and the United States.


Moreover, the publishers thoughtfully recognize that civic engagement is not only the responsibility of occupiers and protesters. For instance, authors like Janette Sadik-Khan, commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, discuss how the government has also played a large role in making cities more accessible and welcome to the public…


By launching a riveting discourse about the role and impact of public spaces, Beyond Zuccotti Park not only encourages us to reflect upon the rights we have as citizens of a democracy, but to also get on our feet and seize the opportunity to fully the embrace these rights in order to create positive change in our communities.


Read the full review here.