Dr. Lidia Marek

University of Szczecin, Poland
Urban public sphere as a space of multi-dimensional communication

The public sphere understood as the space of communication is now one of the basic analytical categories for critical decontstruction of contemporary societies. As far as conceptual solutions are concerned, J. Habermas' proposal is interesting, to which I also refer in my speech. Habermasian interpretations of the public sphere are clearly in the current debate on social and cultural life, but they also inspire reflections on the material structures of urban public spaces (see the discussion on sociology and geography, or more broadly urban studies). What connects both perspectives is understanding it as communication space. Habermas' proposal is cognitively and methodologically cognizable and allows us to set new directions for analysis and interpretation, and to formulate new questions about the public and communication nature of real urban spaces.

Attempts to resolve issues in communication in the public sphere of the city can be made from many different perspectives, analyzing it for example as “space for communication”, “communication space”, or the subject of public dialogue. The purpose of the speech is to characterize the urban public sphere (or rather the urban public spheres?) as a space of multidimensional communication (social communication and relations with material structures). Discussions will also cover contemporary transformation and the increasingly stressed urban public space crisis.