Urban connective action: the case of events hosted in public space

David McGillivray*, Severin Guillard, Emma Reid

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)


In the past decade, significant transformations have influenced the governance of urban public spaces. There has also been a growth in new public spheres associated with digital media networks, informing and influencing the production and regulation of urban space. In this article, we explore the role of digital and social media as a form of connective action supporting public campaigns about the privatisation and erosion of public space in the Scottish city of Edinburgh. We draw on analysis of Twitter data, interviews and observations of offline events to illustrate how a broad coalition of actors utilise online and offline tactics to contest the takeover of public space, confirming that that the virtual and the physical are not parallel realms but continuously intersecting social realities. Finally, we reflect on the extent to which digital media-enabled connective action can influence the orientation of urban controversies debates and lead to material change in the way urban public space is managed and regulated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-266
Number of pages15
JournalUrban Planning
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2020


  • connective action
  • Edinburgh
  • festivals and events
  • public space
  • urban controversy


Dive into the research topics of 'Urban connective action: the case of events hosted in public space'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this