Ideas of democratic space and adaptive space emerged repeatedly as key concerns in the design and planning of the city’s public realm. Professor Sennett elaborated these concepts by stating that “the attempt to find a finished form is always self-destructive” because it immediately becomes a limited and unresponsive backdrop to constantly evolving societal needs and rhythms, and therefore tends toward the status of outdated relic. He later reinforced this idea by characterising some spaces as “undemocratic because they are overdetermined”.
Perhaps look to the underdetermined then. It’s fun to consider how transportation planning techniques such as shared space — based on the observation that individuals’ behavior in traffic is more positively affected by the built environment of the public space than it is by conventional traffic control devices and regulations — might lend ideas to nurture civic spaces.