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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2009

Helen Beck

The purpose of this paper is to present how high quality public spaces contribute positively to people's quality of life. However, sources of credible evidence in support…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present how high quality public spaces contribute positively to people's quality of life. However, sources of credible evidence in support of this statement are surprisingly scarce. One impact is that it can be frustratingly difficult to quantify links between investment in the public realm and improvements to people's quality of life.

Design/methodology/approach

CABE Space, the government's national advisor on well‐designed, planned and maintained urban public spaces, fund a scoping study which seeks to determine and understand useful correlative relationships between existing data on quality of life and existing data on the quality of public space. The researchers analyse a total of 34 national datasets to ascertain what they can tell us about how the quality of public spaces affects people's quality of life.

Findings

Numerous small scale research studies have examined the benefits of high quality public spaces in terms of their economic, social and environmental value. However, a national evidence base to inform policy agendas relating to well‐being and liveability is lacking.

Research limitations/implications

Better understanding is needed to maximise the benefits of provision for individuals and the areas that they live in, especially because the poorest areas suffer from the poorest quality of environments.

Originality/value

Linking the quality of public spaces and the quality of life is a complex and multifaceted area that suffers from a meagre evidence base. This research aims to further this area of research and is original in its national scale of analysis.

Details

Journal of Place Management and Development, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8335

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2018

LU Xiaohui, HE Quan and LI Qi

Significant differences exist in terms of use and demand of urban public space in different districts and communities. In this study, PSPL survey was made in about one…

Abstract

Significant differences exist in terms of use and demand of urban public space in different districts and communities. In this study, PSPL survey was made in about one year to investigate the type and occurring time of outdoor activities and the visitors' demand difference of Round-City-Park in Xi'an, China. The survey method for collecting data included spatial classification, photographic recording, field observation, questionnaires and interviews. Then a new method of Virtual Typical Day (VTD) was put forward to analyze usage pattern of public space in the daily life. According to our results, laying out more public spaces close to residential area can make a more vigorous city. And the results also reveal that there exist some problems of uneven usage periods in different spaces, various space requirement from different age groups, insufficient support of space and facilities and so on. Based on the survey, an optimizing strategy of adaptive design is proposed such as setting mobile “stage” and providing flexible “props” according to the changing demands. The proposed design approach can encourage people to participate in outdoor activities, improve usage frequency of public spaces, and stimulate vitality of the city. This may also apply to other Chinese cities.

Details

Open House International, vol. 43 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0168-2601

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Abstract

Details

Creating Spaces for an Ageing Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-739-6

Book part
Publication date: 29 March 2022

Esra Akbalık

Public space is a multilayered phenomenon associated with accessibility, comprehensiveness, equal citizenship, and as representing/building democracy. Founded on Henri…

Abstract

Public space is a multilayered phenomenon associated with accessibility, comprehensiveness, equal citizenship, and as representing/building democracy. Founded on Henri Lefebvre’s (1974/1991) definition, space is both a product and a precondition of the social processes. Moreover, public space comes to the fore as a multilayered spatial scene. This scene enables us to examine various manifestations of intervention, negotiation, freedom, struggle, or oppression through daily life routines, mass demonstrations, or preclusions. The inherent specificity of public space also represents the struggle for/on space clearly. By exploring the rooted meaning and function of public space, this study focuses on the imprisonment of space as a manifestation of power.

This chapter approaches the notion of imprisonment of space in two main ways. Firstly, the word “imprisonment” is used metaphorically to define the urban or architectural practices of the government, which have the power to transform the daily use and the symbolic meaning of public spaces. For instance, establishing or destroying symbolic or representative buildings adjacent to a public space creates empty and uncomfortable spaces where people only pass by. Secondly, the notion of “imprisonment” is used literally to define the way access to public spaces is blocked by building temporary or permanent barriers, as is done by the police for crime scene investigations.

This study aims to exemplify the imprisonment of public space through two current urban practices from Istanbul, Turkey. The first case regards two much-debated buildings: the construction of a mosque and the reconstruction of a cultural center, facing each other. The space between them remains a void where, in the past, many public demonstrations occurred which has attributed to this area a symbolic meaning in the collective memory of the city. The second case regards an urban square that is well known due to sit-in protests of the Saturday Mothers movement since 1995. To prevent sit-in protests from continuing, this square has been surrounded by temporary security barriers, vehicles, and military forces since 2018, making this location a literal example of an imprisoned public space. By discussing these two cases, this chapter illustrates how spatial interventions such as blocking or emptying of public spaces are not just conducted to prevent a claim of civic demands, but also to erase the collective memory connected to these areas. For this reason, these interventions should be discussed on their short- and long-term effects in order to build a powerful public reclaiming of space.

Details

Re-Imagining Spaces and Places
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-737-4

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 5 November 2016

Jelena Zlatar Gamberožić and Anđelina Svirčić Gotovac

Since the 1990s transition period and especially since 2000 public space in Croatia has repeatedly been violated by private interest. This is visible in coastal regions…

Abstract

Since the 1990s transition period and especially since 2000 public space in Croatia has repeatedly been violated by private interest. This is visible in coastal regions, rural landscapes, urban green areas, parks, squares, and streets which have been completely or partly privatized. Urban actors (economic, political, civil, and professional) play different roles in these changes, and there is a hierarchy in their relations: economic and political actors are very powerful and have a prominent place in urban and suburban spatial transformations. Civil society actors and professionals, on the other hand, have very little control or influence. Urban actors have different interests and conflicting opinions. The results of our research (qualitative research method of semi-structured interviews with various experts) show that today spatial changes are mostly dictated by economic actors in a close alliance with political actors. It is therefore vital that in future we clearly define public space and public interest and educate society about their importance. Only then can inadequate private intervention in public space be prevented and a balance between private and public interest be restored with all actors making decisions together. This is, after all, a real, participatory democracy that all transition societies (including Croatia) aim to achieve.

Details

Public Spaces: Times of Crisis and Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-463-1

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 5 November 2016

Fernando Manuel Rocha da Cruz

The organization of events in public spaces in the cities of Oporto, Vila Nova de Gaia (both in Portugal), and Barcelona (Spain) led us to propose a classification of…

Abstract

The organization of events in public spaces in the cities of Oporto, Vila Nova de Gaia (both in Portugal), and Barcelona (Spain) led us to propose a classification of thematic cities. The conclusions are the result of social representations of organizers and sponsors in the three cities and, thus, it is a qualitative study carried out in research Ph.D. in Sociology at the Faculty of Letters of the University of Oporto. We propose the presentation of some events organized in three public spaces – Aliados Avenue in Oporto, Cais de Gaia’s waterfront in Vila Nova de Gaia, and Ramblas in Barcelona – to make its framing in terms of objectives, motivations, and public. We also appealed to the social representations of interviewees to evaluate the quality and structure of public spaces in the two cities in the metropolitan area of Oporto in comparison with the Catalan city. Finally, we propose the typification of the three cities according to the features presented throughout the chapter.

Details

Public Spaces: Times of Crisis and Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-463-1

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 29 March 2014

Matthew R. Griffis

This exploratory study, a Ph.D. dissertation completed at the University of Western Ontario in 2013, examines the materially embedded relations of power between library…

Abstract

This exploratory study, a Ph.D. dissertation completed at the University of Western Ontario in 2013, examines the materially embedded relations of power between library users and staff in public libraries and how building design regulates spatial behavior according to organizational objectives. It considers three public library buildings as organization spaces (Dale & Burrell, 2008) and determines the extent to which their spatial organizations reproduce the relations of power between the library and its public that originated with the modern public library building type ca. 1900. Adopting a multicase study design, I conducted site visits to three, purposefully selected public library buildings of similar size but various ages. Site visits included: blueprint analysis; organizational document analysis; in-depth, semi-structured interviews with library users and library staff; cognitive mapping exercises; observations; and photography.

Despite newer approaches to designing public library buildings, the use of newer information technologies, and the emergence of newer paradigms of library service delivery (e.g., the user-centered model), findings strongly suggest that the library as an organization still relies on many of the same socio-spatial models of control as it did one century ago when public library design first became standardized. The three public libraries examined show spatial organizations that were designed primarily with the librarian, library materials, and library operations in mind far more than the library user or the user’s many needs. This not only calls into question the public library’s progressiveness over the last century but also hints at its ability to survive in the new century.

Details

Advances in Library Administration and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-744-3

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Abstract

Details

Public Spaces: Times of Crisis and Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-463-1

Book part
Publication date: 29 February 2008

Kirsten Christiansen

Public space has traditionally been space of and for the people, a place where the community could congregate and engage in public expression, including expression of a…

Abstract

Public space has traditionally been space of and for the people, a place where the community could congregate and engage in public expression, including expression of a political nature. In the current environment of increasing insecurity, police departments are encouraged to join the fight against terrorism by increasing surveillance and control over ever-larger areas, including public space, and over ever-greater segments of the community. This chapter examines two recent initiatives by the New York Police Department that are changing the nature of public space in the city.

Details

Surveillance and Governance: Crime Control and Beyond
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1416-4

Book part
Publication date: 5 November 2016

Luca Daconto and Gabriele Manella

The chapter addresses the issue of contemporary public space. In the urban setting, social groups form different publics that become mutually inter-visible in public spaces

Abstract

The chapter addresses the issue of contemporary public space. In the urban setting, social groups form different publics that become mutually inter-visible in public spaces: relational arenas, in which it is possible to learn living with strangers, recognizing the right to the city for all people. In contemporary city, some theories argue that we would assist to the crisis of public space. Indeed, the forming of a public realm is more difficult, because social groups build separate and self-segregating routes, and urban public spaces are increasingly privatized, controlled, and reorganized to be more compatible with the global city, the city-users, and the hypermobile upper classes.

Shifting the attention to Sala Borsa (a public library in the centre of Bologna), the authors argue that the changes in the socio-spatial morphology of contemporary cities do not prevent the forming of a public arena, accessible also to the marginal groups, as the homeless. Because of its centrality, its free access, its innovative and multimedia environment, Sala Borsa is a crowded, lively, and symbolic public space. In this public library, social groups appropriate different spaces and times through the production of porous boundaries. Nevertheless, the identity of public-library-user taken once in Sala Borsa produces an inclusive regime of inter-visibility, where also homeless people are present.

Details

Public Spaces: Times of Crisis and Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-463-1

Keywords

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