PhD project by Janell Arbon
The line between private and public space has altered in the context of the city due to commercialisation and urban regeneration. This shift from clearly identifiable ‘public’ spaces to those of an ambiguous nature can have a negative impact on how users perceive and imagine their surroundings. Thus broad assessments of civic space are treacherous without understanding why people return to spaces, why they avoid spaces, where the safe areas of the city are, the role of public and private investment, and the image of the civic space as a marketing tool.
This research examines the tangible and intangible elements of civic spaces which impact perceptions and contribute to the image of fearful civic space. Through international case studies and detailed site analyses the research will present an evaluation tool which maps different perceptions of civic spaces to assist designers in the early stages of planning.