Ever since Footloose Bruce's spontaneous free-form movement and dancing was banned from the lawn of Weaver Street Market, Public Space has become a salient issue in the town of Carrboro, North Carolina. Though public body movement on private property (Carr Mill Mall) was the spark that began the public debate on public space in Carrboro, many other activities are currently severely controlled or prohibited in the de-facto town square of Carrboro.
Activities severely controlled or prohibited include:
- Voter Registration
- Music Making
Freedom of expression and freedom to congregate are essential to the success of a our ideal democracy. Places to practice these freedoms are prerequisite necessities.
Public Spaces in CarrboroEdit
There are very few physical public spaces where community can intercommunicate in Carrboro. For an excellent cyber/virtual space of community intercommunication in Carrboro/Chapel Hill/Orange County please visit orangepolitics.org. Also, visit Moving with Footloose Bruce.
Weaver Street Market LawnEdit
Though a private space, the lawn in front of Weaver Street is the de-facto town square of Carrboro. Historically, when Carr Mill was still a Mill, the lawn was the commons area for the workers. The town of Carrboro was built because of the Mill. The lawn in front of the Mill is the natural convergence space of Carrboro. The lawn in front of Carr Mill Mall has been established as a social space in the same way that footpaths eventually become established as roads.
To view discussions, as initiated by the Footloose Bruce issue, about Weaver Street Market's Lawn please visit orangepolitics.org
Moving Weaver Street MarketEdit
Proposals have been made to move Weaver Street Market to other Venues. These proposals assume that Weaver Street Market -the store- is the reason for the variety of social interaction on the lawn. It is a question as to how much the lawn and the market each factor in as determinantes of the current social make-up of the lawn ... and Carrboro.
Though scoffed at by many when proposed for use against corporately owned properties, eminent domain is regularly used in such instances as road building (i.e. 15-501 expansion, I-40).
The intent of Eminent Domain, originally, was to advance the public good. As neoliberalisation (privatization) has taken hold it has become increasingly common for corporations to make use of Eminent Domain. Public acquiescence to this trend has been facilitated by the fact that people's closest experience to public space is through privately owned malls (i.e. mall = public space = public good). Though malls appear to be public they are always subject to the whim of the owner of the mall. Civil Liberties do not necessarily exist in these spaces.
It appears that the country has lost the laws through which it is governed as the space for which the laws are to be practiced are bought. (Contemporarily, this is evidenced not only in physical space but also in the electromagnetic spectrum space, mass communications spaces, biologic spaces, etc..)
At market prices, as required by eminent domain law, Carrboro may not have enough money to buy the lawn.
East Weaver Street ClosingEdit
The town owns public space in front of the lawn of Weaver Street Market. This public space is called "East Weaver Street". An elegant solution to the crisis of the public use of the Carr Mill Mall lawn may be achieved by closing East Weaver Street off to vehicular traffic, planting grass, some trees and scattering some tables about like the ones at Weaver Street Market. Carr Mill Mall may erect a fence. It would be hoped that, for the people of Carrboro, this would appear to be at least as absurd as prohibiting dancing.
Most public spaces are roads that interconnect private spaces. Because of this human-scale public communication exists mostly via bumper stickers on cars.
Town of Carrboro
Park list (link to pdf)
Carrboro Town Commons (from Town website) "The Carrboro Town Commons is a multi-use facility located on 1.7 acres next to the Town Hall. For further information on use policy and rental procedure, please click HERE! (link to pdf)" The pdf download is the administrative policy of the Town of Carrboro for the Carrboro Town Commons.
Town of Chapel Hill