Good Public Space Analysis
Every city wants to put its citizens at the center of the planning process. A great objective, but what does this mean in practice?
Creating good public space for humans
At Humankind, we believe public space to be the heart and soul of cities. Their defining element, the public arena where citizens’ life takes place. Now that over half of the world’s population lives and works in urban areas, more than ever we need to rethink the way public space looks and performs.
Tons of data, extensive research, in-depth studies, inspiring lectures… information in all formats has been published over the past decades hinting to what good public space can mean. We’ve gathered all that knowledge, processed the big words and the endless numbers and created a model to measure the goodness of public space.
Combining spatial analysis and human behaviour analysis, we cross-check the original design and its actual use in real life.
How is public space designed?
Study of percentage of greenery, equipment, facilities, comfort, etc.
How do people use public space?
Behaviour analysis: do people eat, relax, create, etc. Study through observation, sensor tracking, interviews, etc.
The spatial analysis is superposed on the behavioural one to showcase the gaps between design and actual use.
Good public space model
Quality of the space
By looking at public space through different lenses, we analyze how good it is for the wellbeing and health of people.
Behaviour and interaction
By observing the behaviour of people in public space, we can find out how the designed space is used in reality, and discover unintended and surprising interactions.
Humans at the core
To really put human health and wellbeing at the center of things, we need a holistic approach. The biopsychosocial model shows how biology, psychology and social factors are linked.
Initial research setting the scene, based on accessibility, sociability, nature and comfort & safety.
Analysis of how people actually use the space.
The results of both types of research bring diverse outcomes for various indicators. We combine them and build on those to propose future steps.
Inspiration is offered to improve the quality of the public space using our best practice database showcasing examples from around the world.
When in need of more information on why people make specific decisions, additional research – through interviews and workshops – is offered.
The data is already out there. The knowledge is already out there. But, like our cities, they are not used to the fullest of their potential. With our Good Public Space Analysis we strive to inspire and inform designers and policy-makers with deeper insights to create better, truly human-centric public spaces.
Humans are complex, multi-layered beings. Those layers are the ones informing our analysis. Beyond the space itself, we look at the human in the space, too.
Inter- & Transdisciplinary
While the majority of research on public space focuses on physical elements and design, our approach interconnects both. The physical, the social and all their ramifications finally come together.
Our approach is direct, simple and quickly adaptable, suited to fit from the smallest neighborhood to the biggest intersection. Replicability was never this easy.
Whether you want to define design principles before a redesign of a park or plaza, lay the groundwork for a participatory process, or zoom out to make working on a strategic plan for an area development, our analysis helps designers and policy-makers to make better informed decisions about human-centric public spaces.
Don’t worry about forgetting any dimension striving for places for people, we’ve got you covered.