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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 help understand the dynamics between humans and public spaces better (measure the goodness of public space).

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Holistic analysis

Combining spatial analysis and human behaviour observation, we cross-check how the original design facilitates the need for various activates.


How is the public space designed?

Understanding the attributes of a space and what it offers to people.


How do people use public space?

Behaviour analysis: do people feel comfortable enough to eat, relax, or play? 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 well it facilitates well-being and health of people.

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 and helps us understand the many factors that influence the experiences of public spaces.

Behaviour and interaction

By observing the behaviour of people in public space, we can discover unintended and surprising interactions and understand the needs of the users better.

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Our process


Choose location


Space analysis

Initial research helping to understand the context of the interactions; based on accessibility, sociability, nature and comfort & safety.


Behaviour observation

Analysis of user profiles and activities.



The results of both types of research bring diverse outcomes for various indicators. We combine them uncovering the whole story and image of the public space. From them on, we are able to propose future steps.



Inspiration is offered to improve the quality of the public space using our best practices database showcasing  examples from around the world.

Digging deeper

When in need of more information on why people make specific decisions, additional research –through interviews and workshops –is offered.

Our Goals

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 educate, inspire and inform designers and policy-makers with deeper insights to create better, truly human-centric public spaces.

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Humans are complex, multi-layered beings, and it is these layers that inform our analysis. In addition to considering the physical space, we also take into account the presence and interaction of humans within that space.


Inter- & Transdisciplinary

While most research on public spaces mainly looks at the physical aspects and design, our approach considers both the physical and social aspects, and how they are connected. We aim to bring together the physical and social elements and understand their impact as a whole.



Our approach is direct, simple and quickly adaptable. We strive to make sure that every municipality can ask us for help with their issues. 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.


Do you want to evaluate your public spaces? Do you want to make better-informed decisions to create more human-centric public spaces?
Contact us for a digital introduction or to explore a potential cooperation.

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