When urban planning gets political, or public space vs social media
The outrage of protesters in Istanbul is the latest in the series of “Arab Springs”, a catch-all term for very different types of protest (from change-driven to ultra conservative) against the powers in Arab countries that mostly have been in power for ages. Public spaces, like Tahrir Square in Egypt, and now Taksim Square in Istanbul, and social media have played a crucial role in this. In the case of Istanbul, the cause of all the uproar is in fact urban planning. The New York Times, in this article ‘In Istanbul’s Heart, Leader’s Obsession, Perhaps Achilles’ Heel‘, sees social media of way less significance than in the previous “Springs”, but gives the public space itself the most prominent role, as does Archdaily in this article.
From the article:
And now comes the interesting part:
Sentiment and emotion mapping of social media at Taksim Square could definitely lead to new insights.
Update: 20 June 2013: a reminder of the urban agenda initially driving the Turkish uprisings on thepolisblog.org
The Guardian published an interesting map of protests all over the world in 2013.