Antonia Layard, ‘Public Space: Property, Lines, Interruptions’

This paper suggests that public space in England is dominated by property thinking, partially addressed by lines and could be more frequent if we create interruptions. It understands the legal production of public space not as a two-dimensional designation but instead as a process, or a series of processes: spatial, legal, material and, crucially, temporal, for creating spaces to call publics into being. While the paper agrees that property thinking limits our abilities to be in public, particularly on private land, and acknowledges that ‘lines’ including rights to roam and highways are limited, it suggests that we can – and should – create interruptions to address the growing shortage of public space. The paper argues that to do this, we need to think about time as much as space in property law. We also need to think explicitly about how, when and where we might disrupt private land uses for public use, contributing to a geography of hope.

Antonia Layard, Public Space: Property, Lines, Interruptions, 2 Journal of Law, Property, and Society 1 (August 2016).

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