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Urban design lecture 9

URBAN DESIGN IV
Lecture 09: Types of Urban spaces

Lawrence Ogunsanya
lawrencesanya@yahoo.com
ogunsanya@ukzn.ac.za

PUBLIC SPACE/REALM IN CITIES


Public space/realm is defined as space that is shared communally by the
public.
Public space is intimately linked to the ideas of universal access, the common
ground, and shared amenities.
Examples include parks, plazas, pedestrian pathways, and streets, indoor spaces
such as atriums, shopping centres, and community centres.
Rooftop and community
gardens, and street cafes
demonstrate new examples
of public spaces that are
emerging as significant
components of the public
space/realm landscape.
Public spaces influence the
form and function of cities and
the daily interactions that take
place at the community level.

INTRODUCTION & DEFINITION:


The public realm belongs to everyone. It comprises
public urban spaces and other outdoor places that
require no key to access them and are available, without
charge for everyone to use.
Public spaces should not be seen in isolation but in the
context of its adjacent buildings, their uses and its
location in a wider network of public and private space.
The three key elements that influence the public
realm are:
The buildings that enclose and define the space;
The space itself; and
The people that inhabit the public realm and the way
they use the space.

TYPES OF PUBLIC SPACES


There are five identified types of public spaces
CORPORATE SPACES
DOMESTIC SPACES
CONSUMPTION SPACES
CIVIC SPACES
IN-BETWEEN SPACES

CORPORATE SPACES
Corporate spaces are usually privately owned spaces
characterised by the corporate entities which bound
them.
These spaces are predominantly used by workers of the
surrounding corporations, but may host other user
groups temporarily.
Distinguishing characteristics:
Corporate spaces are commonly created by commercial
developers.
They are used primarily by office workers for meeting
colleagues, smoking and lunch breaks.
Impressive architecture, high quality materials, and
public art.
Visible security and effective maintenance of the space
Promotion of retail & commercial activities

CORPORATE SPACES
Examples:
Hotel lobbies/foyers, Shopping mall, food court, Airport
terminal, office park square, university sqaures etc.

CORPORATE SPACES

CORPORATE SPACES
Challenges:
Omnipresent security intimidate and portray a feeling of
unwelcome towards visitors of corporate spaces.
Extended use of space not always encouraged due to
dominant ownership.
Due to Branding, corporate spaces frequently use similar
design styles and materials. This can lead to
homogeneity.
Visual accessibility is not always visible

CORPORATE SPACES
Design requirements:
Corporate spaces should provide a safe area that has
enough capacity to accommodate the extremes of
pedestrian traffic.
Adequate lighting and security
Corporate spaces should provide a comfortable area that
is welcoming, inviting and inclusive.
landscaping and public art
Well established management regime
Use of high quality materials
Provision of retail space and branding
Accessibility
Flexible and adaptive

DOMESTIC SPACES
Domestic spaces are public open spaces in close
proximity to a cluster of homes and residential
developments, domestic squares offer a space for both
formal and informal social activity.
A local environment for people of all ages to play, to
relax, to enjoy the sun, to meet their neighbours
Distinguishing characteristics:
Predominantly characterised by the residential uses that
surround them.
A space were residents involve in many recreational or
relaxation activities.
Defines a neighbourhood scale and identity in the
context of working environments
Provides a degree of intimacy and seclusion within the
dense and bustling urban fabric.

DOMESTIC SPACES
Examples:
Balconies and terraces, courtyards, community parks,

DOMESTIC SPACES

DOMESTIC SPACES

DOMESTIC SPACES

Challenges:
Failure to achieve balance of actives
Intimacy, safety and comfort
Natural surveillance
Sense of Ownership
Poor maintenance
Design requirements
Engagement: Creating Responsive Spaces
Inclusive & Sustainable Spaces
Use of different materials is an important tool for defining
spaces and pathways.
Designation of primary and secondary movement
corridors through the square and clustering of activity
types
Provision of intimacy, furniture and shade
Accessibility, Flexible and adaptive

DOMESTIC SPACES

Natural Surveillance

CONSUMPTION SPACES
Consumption spaces are public open spaces, part of
the public realm where consumption activities are
predominant.
Often a combination of fixed retail, informal trade and
mobile temporary stalls. They are by essence places
where people meet, trade, recreate and exchange.
Distinguishing characteristics:
Three main spatial typologies have been identified:
The corridor shape is usually characterized by a linear
continuity of the shop frontages and a relatively narrow
width between the building frontages.
The square shape is a typical square surrounded mainly
by retail venues at the ground floor.
The crossing of streets very probably generated by the
natural meeting occurring at such places.
Presence of shops, stalls and external seating

CONSUMPTION SPACES

CONSUMPTION SPACES

CONSUMPTION SPACES
Challenges:
Un-integrated spaces can appear to create a level of
conflict and competition between permanent fixed retail
and informal market vendors in stalls.
Providing shelter or shade to create a more comfortable
pedestrian experience.
Provision of site amenities, landscaping and street
furniture for pedestrians
Flexibility and adaptability of the space
Contextual relationships of the space and the site
Commercialisation / homogenisation and exclusivity of
space.

CONSUMPTION SPACES

Design requirements
Vibrancy, safety and comfort
Provision of furniture and shade
Accessibility, Diversity, Flexible and adaptive
Shopping units and food courts
Passive and active recreation.
Creating a transitionary zone between the retail venues
and the public realm helps increase the active frontage
Effective pedestrian circulation and stall groupings.

CIVIC SPACES
Civic spaces are an essential component of the citys
suite of open spaces and broader public realm.
They help characterise the city or towns history, and
acts as vital spaces for people to interact with political
leaders.
Distinguishing characteristics:
A forecourt to civic buildings, often with at least one
frontage addressing the main entrance or faade.
A setting for monuments, statues and other memorials or
public art installations.
Designed for pedestrians and adaptable to cater for civic
events and meetings.
High quality materials & finishes.
Grand, symbolic and of national and local significance

CIVIC SPACES

Trafalgar square, London

CIVIC SPACES

Trafalgar square, London

CIVIC SPACES
Challenges:
Exclusionary, isolated, impermeable, inaccessible and over
managed space
Design requirements
Symbolic: reflect the history and character of the
community.
bring the community together and act as a centre.
Adaptable: Flexible to changing time and various seasonal
uses.
Inclusive: People from all walks of life should be able to
relate to and enjoy using the space.
Accessible: Encourage movement to and/or through the
space and pedestrian friendly
High quality: Design, materials, art work, sculpture and
finishes contribute to a consistent and legible urban
environment.

IN-BETWEEN SPACES
In-between spaces are the residual elements of the city,
which evolve out of an ever-changing urban fabric.
in-between spaces present flexible environments, which
offer potential locations for diverse and unexpected
activities and future developments.
Distinguishing characteristics:
In-between spaces can be divided into three categories:
the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Good in-between spaces are those, which have become
successfully integrated with their surroundings physically
and/or functionally; minimizing internal conflicts
Bad in-between spaces are those that have failed to meet
their full potential, despite having been incorporated into
the planning process.
Ugly in-between spaces refer to spaces in the urban
environment that have been forgotten and fallen into
dereliction.

IN-BETWEEN SPACES: THE GOOD

IN-BETWEEN SPACES: THE BAD

IN-BETWEEN SPACES: THE UGLY

IN-BETWEEN SPACES

Challenges:
Isolated and unutilised
Dangerous, unfriendly and uncomfortable
Awkward shapes and layouts
Cluttered, dirty and not maintained
Design requirements
Provide a sense of identity in a space can be encouraged
and controlled by surrounding buildings, culture, history
and urban furniture.
Natural surveillance and safety
A diversity and flexibility of land uses, providing varying
uses overtime (days, week, seasons, etc.)
Aesthetic elements such as vegetation, which enhances
the time spent in the space
Include some memorable functions and designed spaces:
coffee shop, skate ramp, playground.

CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD
PUBLIC REALM

Streetscape
Streets are delightful and offer attractions and rewards:
reasons to walk and explore.
Sidewalks are comfortable, with room to pass and pause,
and places to rest.
Streets and public spaces invite a range of uses; not just
necessary ones, but optional and spontaneous ones as
well.
Pedestrian routes are continuous and have options.
Streets and public spaces are used well and have value;
there are no empty or neglected places.
The street network provides for multiple modes of
transportation and promotes walking and biking.

CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD
PUBLIC REALM

CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD
PUBLIC REALM

Built Form.
The built form has an immense impact on the character of
the space and its success in a neighbourhood.
The design of the built form can be categorised into three
components, base, middle and top:
1. The Base should contribute to the quality of the public
realm, having active frontages, awnings, lighting and high
quality materials;
2. The Middle should compliment the architectural features
of the base and the top by including windows and a
material typology that is visually cohesive with the base
and top
3. The Top consists of the roof and cornice treatment for
smaller buildings and on larger buildings this also includes
the mechanical penthouse.

CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD
PUBLIC REALM

CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD
PUBLIC REALM

New York city, USA

Questions