Beautification of public spaces - what is it?

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Beautification of public spaces - what is it?
Beautification of public spaces - what is it?

Thanks to the media, the concept of "beautification of public spaces" is often associated with parliamentary reports on the grand opening of a children's sandbox in a city park. This has nothing to do with the powerful trend in urbanism - a new urban environment with a developed system of landscaped areas.

Basic concepts

Open public spaces have become the scarcest resource in the world's megacities. This is well understood by the progressive city authorities, who are investing considerable funds in the improvement of such places. And as a result, they get a serious gain in the efficient use of each square meter and the development of cities in the “right” direction. Let's deal with this "correctness", and at the same time with the main concepts of the topic.

Public space is a part of the urban environment that is accessible to everyone at any time.

New line in New York

Urban environment is a capacious concept, so its wording on the Web is cumbersome and varied. Let's stopin short: the urban environment is what fills the city and affects the lives of citizens. Public spaces form the context of the urban environment.

According to the logic of the above definitions, almost everything in the city belongs to public spaces: parks with sandboxes, streets with trams, squares with hot cakes, museums with turnstiles. All right. But, since we are talking about the latest trends in urbanism, we will add the word “new” to the concept of “public space”.

How did it all start?

It all began in 1961 with the release of the famous book "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" by Jane Jacobs. It was this book that initiated the formation of completely new views on the development of modern cities. A revolution has begun in the minds and drawing tablets.

For example, the thesis “the main thing in the city is a pedestrian, not a car” has spurred the development of pedestrian zones in cities around the world. The book became a textbook of new urbanism with its principles and new priorities. Here are some of them:

  • Modern urban planning breaks and destroys established human communities.
  • New dormitory neighborhoods in the form of a typical development is an evil with severe social consequences.
  • Any city government projects should be based on careful observations of the daily life of citizens, and not on their own abstract ideas.
  • It is better to build residential, office and public buildings mixed up so that the streets are active around the clock.
  • Need to save buildings from different eras.
  • Public space in Berlin

New Urbanism brought new ideas to world architecture: the value of any city is determined by how much its own residents like it. The city is like an organism with complex communication links, it is a space for new social engineering.

Why is all this necessary?

The authorities of the best cities in the world have been investing heavily in the development of public spaces for a long time. These investments are based on quite pragmatic calculations of future dividends. The aesthetics of comfortable and non-standard new public spaces becomes a magnet for active and creative people to move to the city. The overall quality of the metropolis is increasing, the status of citizens is growing, the cost of land and real estate is becoming more expensive.

Competent organization of a new generation of public space has the highest social significance. It stimulates the creative activity of people who begin to feel part of a single organism of a big city.

Public space in Mexico City

Self-identification of a person is another important factor in the new urban environment. And the aesthetics of the landscape affects the understanding of the main principles of ecology and the relationship of man with nature.

Social and budgetary significance

In addition to self-identification and new ways of interpersonal communication, new public spaces bring the following social dividends:

  • urban areas begin to develop in a balanced way;
  • life expectancy of citizens is increasing (and this is notjoke);
  • the overall level of physical culture and a he althy lifestyle is increasing;
  • socialization of people in all its possible manifestations is growing;
  • enhancing environmental safety.

New type of public spaces can be regarded as economic capital with the most positive impact on the city budget:

  • growth in the cost of renting urban real estate, including commercial;
  • emergence of new companies in the services and trade sector;
  • growth in the influx of tourists.


There are different ways to classify spaces. The most common is to divide objects by belonging:

  • public;
  • private;
  • mixed.

Open spaces are divided into two categories from an architectural point of view:

  • urbanistic category of spaces in the form of squares and streets;
  • green category of spaces, including parks, squares and boulevards.

A special category of public spaces is embankments, which combine the functions of a beach, promenade and park.

Embankment in Mexico City

Principles for the formation of public spaces

There are several:

  1. People First: Public space projects must not contain any commercial components.
  2. People's he alth is an important part of economic well-being and growth.
  3. There must be special sports spaces for physical activitytownspeople.
  4. In public spaces, you need to design the maximum number of diverse programs with the ability to change them periodically.
  5. Equal access for all citizens, including the poor and pensioners, should be ubiquitous and non-negotiable.
  6. New projects should reflect cultural diversity.
  7. Public spaces of the new generation should emphasize the uniqueness of the territory and the city.

New life for an old warehouse

Philharmonic on the Elbe

The list of principles goes on. The main thing is to understand well the purpose of the improvement of the new space. An excellent example of this is the famous project of the Philharmonic on the Elbe in Hamburg. The city authorities formulated the goal of the improvement of the abandoned territory of the river port as follows: to breathe new life into the undeservedly forgotten area of ​​the city. The implementation of the project cost a lot of money and a long time, but now the unique building of the Philharmonic, built on top of the old river warehouse, attracts numerous guests from all over the world.

New Russian urbanism and gentrification

On the first photo to the article - a new park in Krasnodar, built according to all the canons of modern urbanism with a system of public spaces. This park will be completely ready by the spring of 2019, but even now it can compete on equal terms with the famous Moscow Zaryadye Park, the pride of the capital's urban planners.

But before these grand world-class public facilities, Russian urbanism has gone through historicalstages of their development. It all started with the formation of public spaces in old industrial zones: in 2004, the famous Strelka appeared on Krasny Oktyabr.

famous arrow

Three years later, the cultural center "Winzavod" was opened with numerous exhibitions and galleries. "Winzavod" was the first positive experience in Russia of the most interesting phenomenon in the new urban environment - the process of gentrification. Gentrification is the revitalization and reconstruction of neglected areas due to the influx of residents with higher incomes, as a result of which there is a change in the inhabitants of the area to we althy and status.

The concept of the urban environment and new public spaces is starting to gain momentum in Russian cities. And this is great news, because the principles and technologies of modern urbanism are aimed primarily at improving the quality of life of residents.

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