Abstract: This article explores forms of public space that have been rendered palpable during the Covid-19 pandemic: public spaces in high-rise buildings. We consider both physical and social public space in this context, thinking about the safety of both common areas and amenities in buildings and the emergence of new publics around the conditions of tower living during the pandemic (particularly focusing on tenant struggles). We determine that the planning, use, maintenance, and social production of public space in high-rise buildings are topics of increasing concern and urgency and that the presence of public space in the vertical built forms and lifestyles proliferating in urban regions complicates common understandings of public space. We argue that the questions raised by the pandemic call upon us to reconsider the meanings of public space.
Keywords: amenities; Canada; common areas; Covid-19; high-rise buildings; public space; urban lifestyle; vertical living