The key to successfully designing or recovering public spaces is to achieve a series of ingredients that enhance their use as meeting places. Regardless of their scale, some important tips are designing for people's needs, the human scale, a mix of uses, multifunctionality and flexibility, comfort and safety, and integration to the urban fabric.
To give you some ideas on how to design urban furniture, bus stops, lookouts, bridges, playgrounds, squares, sports spaces, small parks, and urban parks, check out these 100 notable public spaces.
Since the 1990s, copious amounts of cities in China have been undergoing urban renewal. Prompted by this state-facilitated urban redevelopment, skyscrapers are being built rapidly in major cities to attract affluent middle-classes, resulting in countless relocation and displacement of the working-class population. Such process is known as “gentrification”.
As cities and neighborhoods are being gentrified thoroughly to meet middle-class taste and boost economic growth, urban land resources are being treated in ways to increase business potential, leaving little room for the development of urban street life. Among rows of concrete and steel constructions, nowadays, urbanites are struggling to find a place to sit, rest, and play during leisure time. Analyzing five architectural practices creating livable urban public spaces, this article discusses the challenges and opportunities of urban revitalization in China under the phenomenon of gentrification.
Cities constantly go through infinite changes leaving many spaces of the urban fabric forgotten and unused. Historic buildings are refurbished and adaptive reuse takes care of its new possibilities, but what happens with public space? Small interventions with simple resources and innovative solutions are the perfect way to bring back to life these neglected alleys, plazas, highways, and incorporate them into the cities' once again.
These gestures bring new opportunities for the personal and collective appropriation and new uses of public spaces, encouraging interactions and exchange amongst users. Below are seven successful examples of this.
Accessibility and mobility. When perceived through the architectural lens, these terms often evoke a range capped by two extremes. On the one end, the flexibility of circulation systems; the universality of egress networks; and the technicalities of minimums and maximums. On the other end, a project’s capacity to support broad ranges of socioeconomic narratives; its malleability in the face of rapid fluctuations of program and function; and its reactivity in maintaining a productive role amidst the ebbs and flows of societal dynamics.
Normally the efforts of the construction industry are aimed to design permanent and durable spaces. However, on some occasions creating temporary spaces can be of great help, not only when providing fast assembly infrastructure after the effects of a natural disaster, but also when activating residual or abandoned spaces in our cities. To exemplify the potential of these interventions, we present thirteen successful temporary public spaces.
Amey Kandalgaonkar Explores the Architectural Possibilities of Combining Desert Rocks and Geometric Forms
Although architecture has been constantly evolving, past builders have laid out a huge amount architectural heritage for us to learn from and get inspired by, and integrating natural elements with man-made structures is no exception.
Shanghai-based architect and architectural photographer Amey Kandalgaonkar found inspiration in the rock cut-tomb of Madain Saleh in Saudi Arabia, and with the same architecture approach, designed two residential projects that incorporate architecture with the rigid parts of nature.
Amey Kandalgaonkar has unveiled a project which reimagines the traditional Chinese pagoda in a modernist style. The Shanghai-based designer created the fictional reinterpretation as a homage to a building form largely untouched by Modernism, featuring raw brut concrete, minimal ornamentation, and bold geometric moves.