Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Benefits of urban spaces: social | emotional | orienting?

  1. #1

    Benefits of urban spaces: social | emotional | orienting?

    As planners and designers, we intrinsically know the benefits of creating great public spaces that are safe, comfortable and exciting....weather they are civic plaza's or small urban green spaces.....but sometimes we come across a client who's world is completely bases on scientific data. To this end, does anyone know a reputable contemporary source of good qualitative and quantitative studies that shows how public spaces benefit people....especially as a means of orienting users and promoting social interaction?

    thanks all!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Colo Front Range
    Posts
    2,472
    Quote Originally posted by parezoch View post
    As planners and designers, we intrinsically know the benefits of creating great public spaces that are safe, comfortable and exciting....weather they are civic plaza's or small urban green spaces.....but sometimes we come across a client who's world is completely bases on scientific data. To this end, does anyone know a reputable contemporary source of good qualitative and quantitative studies that shows how public spaces benefit people....especially as a means of orienting users and promoting social interaction?

    thanks all!
    The card catalogue and periodical search at your very nice library has many sources. The light through the windows and the view down on Evans this time of year are very nice.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian UrbaneSprawler's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    410
    When I think of public spaces that promote social interaction, East Colfax at night also comes into mind.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
    Registered
    May 2005
    Location
    New Town
    Posts
    3,872
    Look at William Whyte and the Project for Public Spaces site. Whyte spent a lot of time scientifically studying human behavior in public spaces and what factors impact specific activities. Building on that work (being that Whyte is dead), PPS has created a slew of formulaic design elements for public space - from the height and depth of desired seating options (including classifications like movable versus unmovable seats) to the calculated use of white noise (from, say, fountains), sight lines and mobile vendors to activate spaces. Pretty interesting stuff.

    http://www.pps.org/

    You might also look at Christopher Alexander's somewhat recent web-based project that builds on his seminal book A Pattern Language. Pretty interesting, but requires some serious time investment: http://www.patternlanguage.com/

    Perhaps also Kevin Lynch?
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Pretoria, South Africa, Earth
    Posts
    5
    Not only are open space important for safe, comfort and excitement, but a well designed open space that forms part of open space strategy that is based on ecological features can help in the functioning and increase in species richness and enhancement of a ecosystem.

    Charl De Villiers a specialist in biodiversity in South Africa and he has done some studies on how important it is to have a hallway or coridor between open spaces. Currently in South Africa strategies regarding the improvement of such corridors (environmental precincts) form part of environmental frameworks that planners have to take into acount when formulating future development strategies.

    Now I cant give you hard quatitave data as the debate surrounding the economic value of the environment is still very active and very diverse reasoning for or against the matter.

    I hope some of the info I have given gets the old grey matter going a bit.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    225
    George Hazel of Hazel McLean in Edinborough (http://www.mrcmh.com/our-services/cities/) has done a lot of work regarding the balance between Exchange Space (where people can interact) and Mobility Space (where people can move). Both spaces are required for a healthy city, but he says that in most modern cities too much public space have been given over to moving people and not enough to allowing them to meeting up to exchange ideas.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Social Urban Planning?
    Make No Small Plans
    Replies: 1
    Last post: 03 Jun 2013, 8:15 PM
  2. Replies: 1
    Last post: 04 Jan 2010, 10:44 AM
  3. Social psychology and urban planning?
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 1
    Last post: 24 Jan 2009, 12:20 PM
  4. Replies: 6
    Last post: 09 Aug 2006, 10:50 AM
  5. Urban blight and social isolation
    Design, Space, and Place
    Replies: 65
    Last post: 06 Jun 2005, 6:07 PM