Public spaces have been and still are the central topic of countless numbers of studies. Despite their continuing considerable relevance, which crosses the threshold of metropolitan settings, there has been hardly any in-depth professional and academic debate on what public spaces are outside the city walls and how they take part in this process of transformation. The purpose of the volume is to spark this debate, by staking out, through Henri Lefebvre, an alternative vision of public space centred on the peculiar local rhythms of rural areas and geared towards figuring out the complexity non-metropolitan frameworks can show. On the one hand, local rural spaces can, sometimes, present all features of a Lefebvrian abstract space for their high level of implications, almost comparable to city ones. On the other hand, their character of ‘otherness’ allows them to find a shared ‘moderate’ response to global changes – here less manifest and rapid than in metropolitan contexts.
Angela D’Ascoli is an architect and holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Humanities. She undertook her architectural studies at the Universities of Naples, Lille and Bologna and Copenhagen, and her philosophical research at the Universities of Urbino and Copenhagen. The issue of public space as the social space par excellence, closely studied during her stay at the Centre for Public Space Research of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts of Copenhagen, has become the central topic of her current research.