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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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are two main aims of this conceptual paper. The first is to explore the issues associated with staging events in public spaces, and to produce a typology of…
There are two main aims of this conceptual paper. The first is to explore the issues associated with staging events in public spaces, and to produce a typology of different event spaces. The second is to explore if and how events should be designed into parks, streets and squares and whether this might reduce some of the negative impacts and associated user conflicts.
The paper analyses the history, drivers and effects of using public spaces as venues and examines the reciprocal relationships between events and the spaces that host them. To explain the range and dynamics of contemporary events, a typology of event spaces is developed. This typology highlights nine different types of event spaces which are differentiated by the level of public accessibility (free entry, sometimes free, paid entry), and the mobility of event audiences (static, limited mobility, mobile). Using this typology, the paper discusses ways that public spaces might be adapted to make them better suited to staging events. This discussion is illustrated by a range of examples.
The paper finds that it makes practical sense to adapt some urban public spaces to make them better equipped as venues, but designing in events presents new issues and does not necessarily resolve many of the problems associated with staging events. Disputes over events are inevitable and constituent features of public spaces.
This paper makes an original contribution by developing a new classification of event spaces and by synthesising ideas from urban design with ideas from the events literature.
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…
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.
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…
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.
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…
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.
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…
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.
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…
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.
The multi-ethnic neighbourhood of Strømsø in Drammen in Norway is facing a major transformation. The town has undergone major renewal processes during the last decade and…
The multi-ethnic neighbourhood of Strømsø in Drammen in Norway is facing a major transformation. The town has undergone major renewal processes during the last decade and has been presented as a successful example of urban development both nationally and internationally. In the chapter, we look closer at what spaces and qualities are underlined as significant in this neighbourhood by the examined appropriators of public space, and how their views relate to the qualities stated in planning documents for the area. Public spaces and meeting points can play a vital role in safeguarding diversity and urban cultural heritage associated with these spaces. Public space represents physically defined structures (streets, squares, parks), but even more importantly a social space offering possibilities of encounter and activity otherwise not displayed in the city. These qualities might be perceived as heritage values and significant constituents inherent in public space. This makes public space the keeper of values that are seen as basic urban qualities.