Plumb Lines

September 14, 2009

Public Space and Free Speech

Filed under: Uncategorized — Matthew Schmitz @ 11:10 am

It’s a simple but important point that last week’s “9/12” protest, like those that came before it, would not have been possible without a large public space capable of accommodating crowds. This is why, as we at Plumb Lines always insist, the built environment matters.  America wouldn’t be the country it is without the First Amendment, but the First Amendment wouldn’t be the democratic tool that it is if there weren’t real-world, physical places where free speech can be exercised.

The rise of the internet has made possible new and exciting forms of assemblage, but one of the lessons of last week’s protest is that public space still matters.

-Matthew Schmitz



  1. The more cynical among us would suggest that one of the main reasons we stopped building public spaces was so that we could architecturally suppress speech, especially after the protests of the 60s and 70s.

    Comment by symeon — September 14, 2009 @ 11:53 am

  2. Think TOWN GREENS

    Comment by P. Langdale Hough — September 14, 2009 @ 12:04 pm

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