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Open to the Public: by Katja van Driel and Wouter Osterholt

Date uploaded: January 30, 2013

Art project about vacant buildings as a means for creating access to the city

Open to the Public is an art project and platform that maps vacant and underused buildings in Preston city centre, aiming to challenge the way the city is looked at.

For years, Preston has been preparing for the ambitious Tithebarn masterplan, which was eventually abandoned in 2011. Rather than a failure, however, this represents a chance to think about an alternative future scenario for the city, which examines what can be done when the dominant market logic no longer functions, and makes use of existing resources.

Empty spaces provide an opportunity to talk about ideas for the city, as well as to open up places for communities to shape. The struggle for space is an important political conflict, which makes power relations visible. The concern of Open to the Public is to strengthen the role of the citizen in shaping their city, by reflecting upon ways to gain access to space and asking why it is often denied. In particular, we want to focus on squatting as a political strategy for interfering with urban planning and a tactic for building a new “urban commons”.

Open to the Public offers an open platform to discuss the future of Preston. Between 24th January and 1st February 2013, various speakers and experts will be invited to join in these debates. These talks and events will be open to anyone who is interested and will take place in Unit 12, Guild Hall Arcade, Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 1HT.

Open to the Public
Unit 12, Guild Hall Arcade, Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 1HT
Thursday 24th January – Friday 1st February 2013, from 11am each day

Click here for updates and programme information.

Open to the Public is an art project set up by Katja van Driel and Wouter Osterholt, and commissioned by In Certain Places.

Visit www.opentopublic.org/