The lingering scent of food served in small restaurants, the clattering sounds of commuter trains running along the tracks accompanied by a slight shaking of the uneven road — these and many more sensations are transmitted via the medium of public urban space. The (un-)determined shared spaces enable and channel movements and serve as a canvas on which the everyday urban life is painted. Even though this might sound idyllic, the local public sphere is not limited to harmony and sympathy but is also open to conflict, disturbance and unintended contact.
This presentation aims to shed light on the perception and construction of urban spaces and on how these social processes are enacted in Japan. The following questions stand at the center: How does public space as a medium frame perceptions and communication? And how do perceptions and communication construct public space in return?
Florian Purkarthofer, University of Vienna