Public Places and Urban Spaces

The most thriving and livable cities as well as sustainable ones in the future will be those that encapsulate the public realm and the people who utilize these places.

Paradigm shift is occurring as we speak, one of moving from object oriented cities to people oriented cities, where a people centered vision for cities is the foci – one that enables a transformative shift in the traditional planning and management of cities, a shift that benefits everyone, specifically those at the bottom of the economic ladder. Urbanists, urban planners, designers and architects have long held the view that the physical and social dynamics of public space play a central role in the formation of publics and public culture.

Studies of Public Space as an Instrument of Urban Transformation will be performed as research suggests that investing in them can create prosperous, livable, and equitable cities in developing countries. Investigations of the Contribution of streets as public spaces on the prosperity of cities will be extremely important, which finds a correlation between expansive street grids and prosperity as well as developing a public space toolkit. These investigations will be performed both in the Western Europe and USA North American context, Nordic Countries as well as and maybe most importantly in the Global South.

The view on Public Realm will be an all-encompassing one: a city’s streets, parks, squares, and other shared spaces have been seen as symbols of collective well-being and possibility, expressions of achievement and aspiration by urban leaders and visionaries, sites of public encounter and formation of civic culture, and significant spaces of political deliberation and agonistic struggle. They are spaces that allow and facilitate a coexistence of different categories of people. Public spaces offer great cultural, economic and social values restoring the identity of cities and enhancing the lifestyle of its citizens giving them opportunities for new experiences. We often think of amenities such as quality streets, squares, waterfronts, public buildings, and other – places that have economic social and environmental value.

The attitude towards public space has gradually changed rediscovering their importance as an integral part of urban identity of cities. A public space is a social space that is generally accessible and open to people. In a broader sense, it is a space in which people can choose to be at, regardless of their ethnicity, age, ideologies and gender. The research here will focus on some of the main tenants of Public Places and Urban Spaces: Public space; Placemaking; Urban commons; Walkability; Architectural Ensembles and Equity, Justice and Equality.

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