Keeping everyone active in urban space

landscape view of tower buildings in the distance and green parkland in the foregroundNew ideas are evolving on ways to activate public space. Formal and informal spaces are discussed in Activating Public Space: How to Promote Physical Activity in Urban Environments by Malgorzata Kostrzewska. Examples used are from Australia, UK, and Poland. In the latter part of the article the author discusses design ideas for activating space. Controversially, the she says design should be based on tolerance rather than exclusion of unwanted behaviours, “Instead of introducing numerous prohibitive signs (against skateboarding, parkour, ball games, etc.), it is better to seek a compromise concerning terms of use of the space specified by all the stakeholders in the course of workshop meetings and their participation in the design process. The compromise solutions already in existence (e.g. in Warsaw) confirm that if all the parties acknowledge their respective needs, they will understand and respect each other.” The conclusion section lists the most important spatial features to consider in any urban design.    

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