Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: May 04, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412973816 | Print ISBN: 9781412996822 | Online ISBN: 9781412973816| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Ameet D. Doshi
Civic spaces, sometimes also referred to as “public places” or “civic centers,” are areas of land characterized by the fact that they are managed and (entirely or partially) funded by local municipal, state, and federal governments. Examples include city parks, public libraries, national historic landmarks, and museums. Some broader definitions of civic spaces also encompass government administrative buildings such as post offices, courthouses, and city halls. Typically, however, the designation as a civic space implies places that inspire and nurture community interaction. These spaces are intended for cultural programming, protest, relaxation, celebration, and a broad range of community-oriented activities and gatherings. The prevalence and centrality of civic spaces have evolved throughout human history. In the Western world, Greek and Roman city planners first conceived of the notion of a central administrative complex that was the forerunner to today's civic spaces. In the United States, civic spaces have undergone dramatic shifts ...