All over the world, cities are trying to take back public space from the car. Barcelona has invented the ‘superblock’, where through traffic is banned to make space for playgrounds and gardens. I went to see the superblock in the neighborhood Poble Nou. Where four lanes of through traffic used to drive, there are now gardens, benches and playgrounds. “All cities should try this”, says neighborhood resident Silvia Casorran.
They call it ‘chairbombing’. Just the simple act of putting a chair on the sidewalk and sitting in it is a protest against a 2011 law that forbids people in San Francisco to sit or lie in public space. These chairs, and the initiative, came from Brooklyn-based design collective DoTank, which makes these chairs from old shipping pallets. In San Francisco they pinned a note to them, saying: ,,These are more than places to sit. They are a visual resistance to the privatization of public space.”