‘City Talk: How public is public space in Brussels?’

14 Sept.'23
- 18:30

Public space is being curtailed in more and more places. You often have to consume something at a sidewalk café even if you just want to sit in the square. Sometimes squares are closed for private events. Some streets are not accessible, creating gated communities. The number of private pools contrasts sharply with the number of public places to swim. And meanwhile, there is more and more unused space crying out to be used by homeless people, young families, but also by artists, for example. 
Bozar opens its rooftop patio to share it with Brussels residents for a whole summer. This is a good opportunity to delve deeper into this topic. The debate on public space fits into a broader context about commons and the role of citizens and government in providing community facilities.
Bozar is inviting a number of expert speakers for a panel discussion.


Pascal Gielen is a writer and full professor of cultural sociology at the Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts (ARIA) at the University of Antwerp. He heads the Culture Commons Quest Office (CCQO) there. He has written several books on culture, politics, commons, and civil action.
Paul Steinbrück is an architect, activist, and specialist in water recreation and urban transformation. He is the driving force behind Pool is Cool. Their mission is to give every Brussels resident the chance to swim outdoors. Pool is Cool opened a temporary outdoor swimming pool next to the Centre of Fine Arts in 2017. A lot has happened since then.
Bie Vancraeynest is the coordinator for Vzw Toestand, an organisation that reactivates vacant or forgotten buildings into temporary and autonomous sociocultural centres. She previously coordinated the Enter Brussels 2018 arts festival.
Yannick Roels is director of Cultureghem, “a place of opportunity, where projects flourish in a creative way, and where we see everyone’s added value”. Their goal is to develop, inspire, and co-create with as many people in Brussels as possible, and thus connect and facilitate mutual solidarity on the streets of Brussels.
Moderator: Karl van den Broeck (Bozar)


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