عنوان مقاله [English]
A city’s public realm is territories and urban spaces which facilitate people’s presence while are benefited by individual and social activities. For a comprehensive definition, public realm is the inclusive, accessible urban places during the 24 hours of the day that provides a ground for social interaction and association. Designing and shaping a public realm is one of the main attentions of urban design. From the beginning of 60’s, many architectures and urban design pioneers such as Jane Jacobs, Francis Tibbalds, Tridib Banerjee,…have talked about the decline of the public realm and even the death of public spaces, mentioning the constant reduction of quality as a cause. With a brief look at the results of modern cities and opinions about improving the public realm, we can distinguish the qualitative factors affecting the quality improvement of public realm. Facilitating the presence and movement of automobiles cost a lot for the modern city. As a result, urban spaces were invaded and dominated by cars and pollution. Jane Jacobs believes that urban planners failed to accommodate cities and cars. Le Corbusier, one of the pioneers of modern architecture and urban planning tried to make car-oriented planning as an inseparable part of his designs by creating large scale express ways and fast physical changes in response to functional needs. But according to Jane Jacobs the result wasn’t anything but the loneliness and uselessness of open spaces. Similarly Tibbalds considered too much attention towards cars as a cause of cities and urban environmental decline. Extinction and decline of the public realm as the spaces for people’s public and civic life results in anti-social behavioral, unwillingness to association and social cooperation, reduction of social diversity, social abnormalities, frustration and indifference towards the public realm, environmental pollutions, physical and psychological health reduction, fragmentation of spaces and placelessness. So apparently the famous modernism motto “form follows function” had faced a serious defeat because the improvement of the quality in the two dimensions of form and function although it was not enough to create a place in the public realm and it seemed other dimensions should be taken into account. With the emerge of concepts such as semantics and semiotics in literature and linguistics and their introduction to other disciplines, architecture and urban planning and design did not stay away from these concepts either. Accordingly people like Robert Venturi, Scatt Brown, and Kevin Lynch believe that every phenomenon has a third component named as ‘meaning’ besides form and function which was forgotten or denied completely by functionalists completely. On the other hand people like Jon Gehl, William Whyte, Jacobs and others emphasized greatly on the social content of the public realm since its people who are the embellishment and constructors of the public realm. So it is hard to percept space without its social content. Therefore improving the quality of a public place is dependent on quality improvement of social and semantic components of the public realm which has two components of function and form. A public realm that considers the improvement of every quality aspect plays an important role in different aspects of human life and vivacity and favorability of citizenship. In social dimension while civil life provides a context for social interaction it can improve social abilities, sociability and decrease antisocial behavior and even crime. On the other hand such a realm encourages social events, conviviality and tourism. Since a quality public realm provides the possibility of daily physical movement, cycling and running, in the health related aspects, it entails a longer life span, decreases in stress levels and depression, shows lower risk of heart attack, diabetes, cancer, and bone problems. The fulfilled civil life requirement from an environmental point results in the development of a sustainable public transport which is followed by improvement of air quality, opportunities of different species life quality, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, pollutions and acidic rains. Regarding the economic aspects, urban vitality causes progress in the implementation of regional economy, land value and investment increase, business and occupation success and tourist attraction. This article intends to present a comprehensive model of the qualitative components of public realm by analysis an uprising the opinion of theoreticians and the existing literature. The model demonstrates that in order to improve and achieve the quality of public realm there is a need for a sustainable process with the contribution of a constant design led management.
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