Occupying public space, 2011: From tahrir square to zuccotti park

Karen A. Franck, Te Sheng Huang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Over the course of 2011, thousands of people in cities around the world occupied public space in political protest. In democratic societies and repressive authoritarian regimes alike, citizens made their concerns internationally known through their extended, joint physical presence in central urban squares and plazas. Inspired by Hausmann’s modernization of Paris, Khedive Ismail established the square as an open space in 1865 in his efforts to modernize Cairo. The square has long been the site of political protest: in 1919, Egyptians demonstrated against British rule and again in 1946 and 1951. In January 2011, as many as three-hundred thousand demonstrators and possibly more gathered in the square on particular days and, despite the risks of injury and death, maintained their hold on the space. The manner of occupying public space for political protest shows many similarities across the four cities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPublic Space Reader
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781351202541
ISBN (Print)9780815385035
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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