WIT Press


LIVEABLE PUBLIC URBAN SPACES: CRITERIA FOR ASSESSMENT AND DESIGN

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/SC170241

Volume

223

Pages

12

Page Range

273 - 284

Published

2017

Size

843 kb

Author(s)

UDO DIETRICH, GRETA KIRCHBERG ERTO

Abstract

Human needs range from subsistence and protection to affection, understanding and participation and finally to leisure, creation, identity and freedom. An essential part of these needs is satisfied in public urban spaces where we watch, communicate, play or just enjoy life. As part of a university course, master students of architecture and urban planning evaluated public urban spaces, which they perceived as positive as well as negative. The goal of this investigation was to identify the specific qualities which create a successful urban space where people love to stay. What qualities do the positive spaces have and what is missing in the negative ones? The students became also aware of the importance of urban spaces and their impact on communities. The results of the analysis of some hundred (mainly European) places are summed up and generalized in a list of criteria for successful urban spaces. This list can be used for assessment and improvement of existing spaces as well as for the design of new ones. It is presented in this paper and explained with the help of some examples and pictures. The list differentiates between primary criteria, the ones that have to be fulfilled as a precondition, and supplementary criteria, the ones that increase the attractiveness of the space. Such a list should be much more focused on social criteria and human needs – what do we want to do and to experience in open spaces? The necessary design to satisfy these wishes will then come as a natural consequence. Furthermore, the list is completed with contemporary criteria like enactment of illumination, events, social media etc.

Keywords

design of public open spaces, livability, human scale, protection, comfort, enjoyment