Hearthless: A philosophical framework for the politically active town square
In cities around the world, the most iconic, memorable, and celebrated spaces are those where public lives converge for the purposes of political assembly. These are the places where public life and public space have a common goal. However, in many North American communities, the relationship between public life and public space is in disarray. In an effort to reboot that relationship, we examine the history and context of both the town square and the citizen through the common goal of politics. It becomes clear that people are inherently political, and that the town square functions in its highest capacity as the space where people can fulfil their political goals of daily life. The various lessons from the literature inform the creation of the Hearth Framework in the form of pillars aimed at redefining the town square as a highly relevant space of regular and active citizen engagement.