Luisa Bravo
Hendrik Tieben


On 8-13 February 2020 City Space Architecture, the publisher of The Journal of Public Space, participated in the 10th World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi as an exhibitor, and in collaboration with 16 global institutions[1] promoted the exhibition 'PUBLIC SPACE IS VITAL FOR AN EQUITABLE URBAN FUTURE'. On April 7, while about 40% of global population was under coronavirus lockdown, City Space Architecture and the School of Architecture at The Chinese University of Hong Kong jointly announced the online initiative '2020: A Year without Public Space under the COVID-19 Pandemic' through The Journal of Public Space[2]: after one month of consultation, by email and through online meetings, with academic scholars and colleagues from different geographical locations, we, public space scholars and activists, felt the urgency to build social and health resilience by establishing an open environment for discussion and learning, while taking advantage of technology and virtual platforms that many could access for free.


[1] The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Healthbridge Foundation of Canada, Block by Block, Project for Public Spaces, University of Auckland, Columbia University, Federal University Rio de Janeiro, Auckland City Council, KTH Centre for the Future of Places, IHC Global, Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization, Sustasis Foundation, Global Utmaning, Public Space Research Group (PSRG), Ukrainian City and Regional Planning Research Center, General Assembly of Partners (GAP) Older Persons. Read a short report here.

[2] The full announcement of the online initiative is available here.


How to Cite
Bravo, L. and Tieben, H. (2020) “2020: A Year without Public Space under the COVID-19 Pandemic”, The Journal of Public Space, 5(3), pp. 1–14. doi: 10.32891/jps.v5i3.1425.
Author Biographies

Luisa Bravo, City Space Architecture

Luisa Bravo is a global academic scholar and educator, passionate public space activist, and social entrepreneur. She has more than 15-years experience in the professional field as urban planner and designer with a specific focus on public space. After completing her PhD in Italy (2008), she has taught, researched and lectured in Europe, the United States, Middle East, Asia and Australia. She is currently Adjunct Professor in Urban Design at the University of Florence in Italy. With her non-profit organization City Space Architecture, that she founded in 2013, Luisa organized and curated several international conferences, seminars, workshops and exhibitions, aimed at promoting public space culture. Under her leadership, City Space Architecture became partner of UN-Habitat's Global Public Space Programme and started a cooperation for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, also through participation in major UN events, such as the 9th World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur (2018) with the exhibition 'We the People, We the Public Space' and the 10th World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi (2020) with the exhibition 'Public Space is Vital for an Equitable Urban Future', both promoted in collaboration with The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Luisa is currently curating City Space Architecture's activities as partner organization of 'A-Place. Linking places through networked artistic practices', a project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. Luisa is the Founder, Editor in Chief and Journal Manager of 'The Journal of Public Space', the first-ever, academic, interdisciplinary, open access journal entirely dedicated to public space, that she established through City Space Architecture in partnership with UN-Habitat. The first issue of the journal was launched at Habitat III, the United Nations conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, in Quito (2016). Luisa’s lecture ‘Stand up for Public Space!’ has been included in the UN-Habitat Global Urban Lectures series (2017). 

Hendrik Tieben, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, School of Architecture

Hendrik Tieben is an urban designer, researcher and educator devoted to the creation of more inclusive, liveable and healthy cities. He is an Associate Professor and Associate Director of the School of Architecture at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). Over the last years, he developed a series of public space and placemaking projects which have found international recognition. He collaborated with The Journal of Public Space since its launch in 2016 at the Habitat III Conference in Quito and contributed to the journal, as author and guest editor of the 2019 issue “Public Space in the Entrepreneurial City” in 2019 (with Maurice Harteveld). At CUHK, Hendrik co-organized three Urban Thinkers Campus events to help implementing UN-Habitat’s New Urban Agenda and push for a more inclusive approach to planning. In his current World Universities Network project Hendrik focuses on the relationships between urban forms, health and wellbeing. In this context, he investigates people’s experience with the limited access to public space in the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. He mainly focuses on Hong Kong and Taiwan, two places which experienced the SARS epidemic in 2003, and, in different ways, developed early strategies to cope with the current health emergency.


UN-Habitat (2020), UN-Habitat launches COVID-19 Response Plan and Campaign targeting the world’s most vulnerable communities, Press release (April 23, 2020) - https://unhabitat.org/un-habitat-launches-covid-19-response-plan-and-campaign-targeting-the-world%E2%80%99s-most-vulnerable-0.

UN-Habitat (2020), UN-Habitat COVID-19 Response Plan - https://unhabitat.org/un-habitat-covid-19-response-plan

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