Better places for a liveable - and lively - city: a method of Post-Occupancy Evaluation of public spaces.

This abstract has open access
Abstract Summary
Public spaces that attract and retain diverse people are crucial to foster urbanity, tolerance and build stronger and livelier communities, especially in big cities. The simple coexistence of similarities and differences in the public space allows us, at least, a validation of our own essence and a possibility of growth. Sharing the same space with other people - even if we do not interact with them - favors social learning, whose theory believes that thought, feeling and behavior can be altered by observation. The search for public spaces that make urbanity viable is desirable in any society (especially in unequal societies, such as in developing countries). However, inspired by ideas developed from the critique of the great human agglomerations of cities after the Industrial Revolution, cities around the world have undergone transformations that did just the opposite. A series of lifeless places began to emerge, and several researchers then tried to figure out why this was happening. These researchers found that just wanting to make a lively place was not enough, that it was necessary to observe closely the behavior of people in public spaces to understand the relationship between configuration and use. The knowledge they have built has been largely responsible for the increasing concern with public spaces and their relation to public life, since the 1960s. Cities around the world, available for study and inspiration, are realizing that empty places could be full of people, and that not only a place full of people is something positive, but an empty place is not. They are learning to see underutilized public spaces as social, cultural, environmental, financial waste. However, even with so much information available, it is still possible to find, in any contemporary city, public spaces that fail to support public life. Frequently, little or nothing is done to make them more attractive, safe, diverse, pleasant to the citizen and, what is more concerning, spaces like these continue to be created. In this context, comes this paper. It brings together the knowledge and repertoire available on public spaces’ design and translates, complements and structures them into a method of Post-Occupancy Evaluation of public spaces. Stating that the observation of people and their activities is crucial, the method helps understanding, observing, evaluating and, thus, manipulating the main attributes of a public space that influence its possibilities to attract and retain diverse people, daily. It is offered as a tool to support those who deal with public spaces at different levels - from academic studies to municipal management – and has been used in Brasilia, Brazil, for the last 7 years, with positive results in governmental decision making. A case study is briefly presented to illustrate its use.
Abstract ID :
ISO500
Submission Type
Full paper :
If the file does not load, click here to open/download the file.
Professor
,
University of Brasilia

Similar Abstracts by Type

Abstract ID
Abstract Title
Abstract Topic
Submission Type
Primary Author
ISO480
2: Beside the megacity and the role of other cities and areas: planning for balance
Full Paper
Prof Teresa Marat-Mendes
ISO262
2: Beside the megacity and the role of other cities and areas: planning for balance
Full Paper
Mr David Green
ISO564
4: Knowledge economies and identity: planning for culture
Full Paper
Citra Persada
ISO88695
3: Liveable places and healthy cities: planning for people
Full Paper
Miss Mahak Agrawal
ISO400
2: Beside the megacity and the role of other cities and areas: planning for balance
Full Paper
Ding Shi
ISO487
2: Beside the megacity and the role of other cities and areas: planning for balance
Full Paper
OLUWABUKOLA SOMOYE
ISO408
2: Beside the megacity and the role of other cities and areas: planning for balance
Full Paper
Dr Muhammed Ziya Paköz
ISO374
4: Knowledge economies and identity: planning for culture
Full Paper
Bo Bian
ISO116
3: Liveable places and healthy cities: planning for people
Full Paper
Miss Hang Sui