The papers presented in this symposium address the issue of public space appropriation in tcrnis of both the physical architecture of public places and the architecture of gender relations. Shampa and Sanjoy Mazumdar have studied India and Iran, societies where there are public spaces exclusive to each gender and a third accessed by both, being negotiated by women under certain conditions. Laurie Hart and Lefteri Pavlides examined access and utilization of public space in Greece. a society where gender segregation in public space has been replaced with gender integration over the last fifty years. Galen Cranz and Julia Robinson have investigated the utilization of public space in the USA where public space has been generally integrated from the inception of the culture. Use of public space can be seen as an agent of enculturation and socialization, either maintaining social roles and contributing to cultural continuity, or modulating change in social activities and becoming an instrument of cultural change. Physical continuity does not preclude social change as existing public spaces acquire new meanings through subtle or sudden shifts in behavioral changes. Conversely, social behavior and roles are maintained as construction of new public spaces is paralleled by the formation of perceptions which conserve existing social roles and relationships. However change often relies on a synergism between social and physical changes which initiate and reinforce each other. By researching how change or continuity in the architecture of public spaces are appropriated and used in relation to conservation or modifications of gender roles and actions in public places, each presentation sheds some light on the following questions: (*) How does occupying public places influence the conservation or transformation of gender roles? (*) How does the control of secular vs. sacred places vary by gender? (*) How do public spaces have served as arenas for maintaining or contesting the relative political power of the genders?