Staging city events in public spaces: an urban design perspective

SMITH, Andrew, VODICKA, Goran, COLOMBO, Alba, LINDSTROM, Kristina N, MCGILLIVRAY, David and QUINN, Bernadette (2021). Staging city events in public spaces: an urban design perspective. International Journal of Event and Festival Management.

IJEFM Smith et al Staging accepted 03 05 2021 .PDF - Accepted Version
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Purpose There are two main aims of this conceptual paper. The first is to explore the issues associated with staging events in public spaces, and to produce a typology of different event spaces. The second is to explore if and how events should be designed into parks, streets and squares and whether this might reduce some of the negative impacts and associated user conflicts. Design/methodology/approach The paper analyses the history, drivers and effects of using public spaces as venues and examines the reciprocal relationships between events and the spaces that host them. To explain the range and dynamics of contemporary events, a typology of event spaces is developed. This typology highlights nine different types of event spaces which are differentiated by the level of public accessibility (free entry, sometimes free, paid entry), and the mobility of event audiences (static, limited mobility, mobile). Using this typology, the paper discusses ways that public spaces might be adapted to make them better suited to staging events. This discussion is illustrated by a range of examples. Findings The paper finds that it makes practical sense to adapt some urban public spaces to make them better equipped as venues, but designing in events presents new issues and does not necessarily resolve many of the problems associated with staging events. Disputes over events are inevitable and constituent features of public spaces. Originality/value This paper makes an original contribution by developing a new classification of event spaces and by synthesising ideas from urban design with ideas from the events literature.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1504 Commercial Services; 1506 Tourism
Identification Number:
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2021 10:30
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2021 10:30

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