Global Impacts and the Global Urban Public Sphere

Global Impacts and the Global Urban Public Sphere


The global city and its citizens are changing with global social, cultural, and political impacts felt within both urban public spaces, and citizens’ daily personal, public, and private lives.  Both the city and its citizens propel changes upon one another.  Not only has the core aesthetic of global cities changed rapidly overtime, but the very use, creation, and understanding of the city has been modified to adjust to global impacts felt within urban public spaces.

The global city is growing to house many different groups within it – many different “worlds”.  As the city grows, it accommodates newcomers and with them new ideas and power structures – dynamics.  These differing personal spaces are shaping and imprinting their blended understandings of life upon the city thereby constantly re-creating urban public spaces.  The growing presence of newcomers within the urban public spaces of these cities, has added to their cosmopolitan, diverse, and multi-culture nature.  In some instances, it is possible to witness the fusion of cultures morphing into an all-together new transnational public identity.  The increase in population within these cities – the quest to find a new home and a “better” life is most striking within the context of international migration to large global urban spaces.

On the one hand enables a new and vibrant life to the city, it has also highlighted major fault lines within these societies challenging the level of social cohesion, co-existence, and connectivity present.

This research explores and ascertains two main components of contemporary urban public life within the global cities of – Istanbul, Berlin, London, Beirut, New York, and Melbourne.  The first focuses on the level of social cohesion, co-existence, and more so the sense of connection felt between differing groups within the urban public sphere and whether this has improved over time.  The second investigates the social and cultural changes in the urban public sphere, with the fusion of differing worldviews and groups.  Both of these components will use international migrants as a case study to further delve into broader contemporary urban public issues of social cohesion / co-existence and connectivity and change.

The aim of this is to explore and document the experiences and perceptions of several different groups on social cohesion / connection and creation / use of public space, with a main focus on international migration.  The project also surveys the role of youth social movements, art, and other alternative methods, in creating and fostering an all-inclusive society.