Urban design principles for parks, street spaces,
plazas and communal open spaces.
Public spaces are those areas in the public realm that provide a
public use or recreation function, such as parks, plazas and street spaces.
Public spaces are generally located
on publicly held land, are accessible to everyone and are managed
and maintained by councils
or other public agencies. Some privately
held land provides for controlled
public access and use as a public space, such as a building forecourt, a walk-through, a shopping mall or a communal open
space. Public spaces are created as part of a land subdivision or by reallocation of land uses
in existing urban areas.
Public spaces accommodate a diversity of activities,
and provide interest and amenity for people. Critical factors for successful
public spaces are their location, size, dimensions and the interfaces with
adjacent properties, the paths and arrangement of activities within the space.
The area surrounding public spaces also influences how they are used and perceived.
A functional system of public spaces offers direct connections to the
surrounding pedestrian network and includes through-paths.
Why is it
Public spaces are essential for the wellbeing of
everyone in a community. They provide opportunity for relaxation, recreation
and socialising, and contribute to a neighbourhood's local character and sense
of place. Active, safe
and enjoyable public spaces draw people to them.
More than a third of the urban land area is public
space, mostly streets. Green spaces such as parks
make up the second largest
component of public space. Street spaces, plazas,
forecourts and squares provide for regular and chance social encounters. Parks
and green spaces provide opportunities to relax, participate in active recreation and experience nature.
Semi-public and communal open spaces, such as courtyards in apartment buildings, hospitals and education facilities, provide for casual interaction and recreation
1 Urban structure
Element 2 Movement network
Element 6 Objects
in the public realm