Over the past decade, large sections of public space have been politicized and used in ways that are not in the public interest. Space, around the world, that was once public has been claimed by private interests. The public value of these places (if it was established) has often been destroyed.
Spaces where people gather, dwell or communicate, including cyber space, are becoming enclaves of conflict with private property laws and other competing interests. As a result, these spaces are becoming places of surveillance that rarely respond to the needs of the specific communities inhabiting them. On the civic level, Manuals For Public Space exists to initiate a dialogue and to build an international community that rethinks these trends.