Empirical study on the evaluation of publicness of public space: taking Chinese megacity as the case

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Abstract Summary
China has been exploring the way of applying the market economy in Chinese context. The market force will play a more dominant role in resource allocation in the next phase and the dependence of urban development on private investment will be reinforced continuously. The issue of privatization of public space in Chinese cities, especially in megacities, starts drawing the attention of academic fields in urban studies. However, researches addressing the impact of privatization on Chinese urban public space are rare. This research aims at providing a lens for elaborating the following questions which include: ① how public the public space is in Chinese megacities, ② what factors impact the publicness of urban public space, ③ whether there exists a great difference in the publicness of publicly owned public space versus that of privately owned public space. Based on an extensive literature review, this research theoretically deduces that the main factors impacting publicness are multidimensional and interactive which include accessibility, management, and inclusiveness. By an in-depth analysis of the three dimensions, an elaborate measurement model including six sub-dimensions and 20 indicators has then been proposed within Chinese context in light of existing models. This research has applied the measurement model to both publicly and privately owned public space in a Chinese megacity -Beijing- to conduct a comparative analysis of the two types of public space. Taking Beijing as the case, empirical study finds that the overall scores of publicness of both sorts of public space indicate no great difference. Nevertheless, scores of the three dimensions impacting publicness show inconsistent results with the overall scores. Privately owned public space get a higher score on the accessibility dimension than its publicly owned counterparts, but a much lower score on inclusiveness dimension. The management dimension demonstrates the biggest difference between the two sorts of public space that publicly owned public space shows more care about the maintenance of space while privately owned public space put more efforts on the control of space. To sum up, the privatization of public space shows a partially negative impact on the publicness of public space from the perspective of multidimensional analysis. This research also makes significant progress on the evaluation of inclusiveness dimension which has posted a great difficulty in the measurement of users’ density and diversity within a specific public space. Taking advantage of emerging new data, this research could take a direct look at the users of public space and give a precise picture of how diverse the users are and how different publicly and privately owned public space are in the inclusiveness dimension. Besides, the measurement model developed in this research is flexible and open-ended, and it can be adjusted and applied according to different cultural context. In this way, we hope to provide a useful tool for urban planners, designers, policymakers and governments who bear the goal of an inclusive city in mind.
Abstract ID :
ISO164
Submission Type
Draft presentation :
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Associated Sessions

PhD Candidate
,
Tsinghua University
Tsinghua University

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