The Urban Communication Reader III
3 Communicative Spaces and Rhetorical Enactments:How and Why Urban Parks Enhance (or Fail to Enhance) Civic Life
Inside/Outside and the Urban Experience
Communicative Spaces and Rhetorical Enactments
How and Why Urban Parks Enhance (or Fail to Enhance) Civic Life
Victoria J. Gallagher, Kenneth Zagacki, & Kelly Norris Martin
In his recent book, titled City of Rhetoric, David Fleming (2008) argues that the “physical organization of our neighborhoods, cities, and metropolitan areas” affects communication because it affects “the ways we represent our histories to one another, render and negotiate our differences, and determine together our future” (p. xi). Similarly, in laying out the case for their notion of “communicative cities,” Gumpert and Drucker (2008) argue that “the nature, function, and identity of the city are defined…by [the] process of communication and its impact on place. Communication availability, images, infrastructure, policy and regulation all define a city and population as well” (p. 196). Both of these projects have in common an emphasis on the communicative and political necessity of public spaces for interaction. Fleming makes this case most directly, arguing that “in a world without cities—populous, dense, diverse, open, centered—the exercise of politics turns out to be difficult to stage, even to comprehend. To revive such an activity, we would need first to revive our cities, to design, build, and sustain places where ordinary people can come into daily contact with diverse, free others and learn to collaboratively manage the world they hold in common” (Fleming, 2008, p. xiv). Both of these scholarly projects also emphasize the dangers of repressive and...
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