The new decade’s tumultuous nature triggered renewed reflection on urban public space. As Covid-19 lockdowns and social distancing measures were implemented in cities around the globe, and protests on city streets from Black Lives Matter and their global supporters erupted, the world’s attention was refocused on urban public spaces. These were spaces to which access was now curtailed: we were newly and differently fearful in them, anger boiled over in them; and amidst limited access, we yearned for them. The pandemic has taken many lives, including that of the urban public space theorist Michael Sorkin, whose decades of work argued for the need for truly accessible, democratic, urban public space; and mourned what he felt was its slow demise. Pushed by these triggers, this Special Issue re/visits urban public space through the lens of the 2020 lockdowns (closures) and the possibilities (openings) that seemed to emerge; in so doing we bring together a collection of global urban snapshots and critical reflections from/in cities around the world - all variations on a theme (Sorkin, 1992).