Convivial Urban Spaces: Creating Effective Public Places by Henry Shaftoe

By Henry Shaftoe

Despite advancements in city layout over the past few many years, architects, city planners and architects frequently proceed to supply components of bland, commercially led city textile that bring the elemental sensible standards of take care of, paintings and rest yet are socially unsustainable and sure turbines of destiny difficulties.

Convivial city Spaces demonstrates that winning city public areas are an important a part of a sustainable equipped surroundings. with no them we're more likely to glide into an more and more deepest and polarized society, with all of the difficulties that will indicate. Taking a multidisciplinary process, this ebook attracts on study, and the literature and concept of environmental psychology and concrete layout, to enhance our figuring out of what makes powerful public areas. functional assistance is illustrated with case stories from the united kingdom, Spain, Germany and Italy. the result's a realistic and obviously provided consultant to city public house for planners, architects and scholars of the city environment.

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But is this a disaster, or should we regard public spaces as dynamic, organic and adaptable, rather than for a fixed single use? (Sennett 1973). This repressive approach damages young people’s potential for healthy, prosocial development, and means that they resort to more devious means to ‘hang out’, or even more worryingly, become neurotic bedroom recluses. We need to respond positively, inclusively and creatively to the needs of young people to socialize in public spaces by involving them in design and provision, and ensuring that what is provided minimizes harm and victimization risk, without removing the frisson that young people need and enjoy.

On the other hand we must minimize the danger and victimization that young people all too often experience in public spaces (Percy-Smith and Matthews 2001). Finding this balance between adventure and mollycoddling requires an approach that includes design, management and social interventions. Figure 42 Central Brussels, Belgium One of the most important strategies is to include young people themselves in the planning, design and management of public spaces (White 1998). Grown-ups don’t necessarily know best and even if they think they do, the process of involvement is as important as the physical outcome.

It is important for their health, both mental and physical, and is potentially one of the most exciting places for them to play. I say potentially because we often provide them with stultifying environments which offer very little delight, adventure or scope for them to exercise their imaginations (see Figures 26 and 27). Healthy outdoor play has been emasculated in many areas by adult preoccupations with health and safety, potential litigation, stranger danger, poor maintenance, economies in public services and even aesthetics.

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