: New call for papers is out now!

Since the ‘80s the idea of public space as an equipped place serving the community - and therefore presenting an inter and multi-scalar project dimension - guides the research into the analysis of the physical components that make up an area (building curtains and porches, soil and pavements, equipment and services, art pieces, artefacts and technical objects, etc.), as these are the elements that support the fruitive qualities, the efficiency and the symbolic meaning of the public space itself. At the same time, the definition of performance requirements linked to the building construction processes -as comfort and aesthetics, low maintenance and easy cleaning, durability, reliability and safety - connects the project of the public space to rational and necessity principles, forcing the designer to consider a balanced time-cost-quality framework. Further contributions are focused on the environmental sustainability of the built space, assuming an adaptive vision, therefore preferring the built/natural and full/void relationships contained in the shapes and creation processes of the European cities’ cultural tradition. Thereby, the environmental design has to re-imagine the public space taking into account its ecosystem potential in answering the growing demand of ecological wellness and quality.

In light of these considerations, the Call’s aim is to collect theoretical, methodological and research contributions (projects, examples, good practices, constructions, public space management conceptions, etc.) that are representative of the contemporary debate, with particular reference to the following topics.

1. The public space as organizational element for the urban phenomena and contemporary landscape design; as a place for the social life, a multi-functional collector for uses and activities, an integrated system of equipments for the safe fruition of the area; a space for virtual and physical multisensory accessibility, dedicated to inclusive and participatory activities.

The topic includes:

the design of urban and peri-urban spaces with proper solutions finalized to temporary and/or permanent configurations;

the trial of innovative process for cultural driven reactivation (events, micro-actions for neighbourhood spaces, LivingLab, LabGov, data collecting methods like crowdsensing and crowdsourcing, etc.);

the transfer and application of advanced tangible and intangibles technologies (advanced smart systems, components and materials, enabling and responsive technologies, digital and sensorial instruments for the maintenance, the information and the fluxes control).

2. The public space as environmental infrastructure, functional to the pursuit of urban sustainability goals. The topic includes:

the public space as a quantity and qualitative standard;

the retrofitting of the infrastructural urban grids in a “blue” and “green” key, as well as the use of nature-based solutions, urban greening/foresting and urban agricultural techniques to enhance the ecosystemic quality, healthiness, safety and security of the urban space;

methods, tools and indicators to design and assess the environmental quality of the public space.

3. Public space and governance, with insights focused on the management innovation of the processes related to programming, designing, producing and controlling the transformations of the public space. The topic includes:

the procedural and regulatory framework for the creation and the “care” of the public space, considering also co-design participatory models, privatepublic partnerships and experimental forms of green procurement;

the use of advanced competitive procedures to design and implement the interventions;

innovative elements in the design and management of the construction phases, whereby the maintenance and adaptation works become a permanent construction site.

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