Use and Spatial Patterns of newly developed Public Squares in Urban Villages in Shen-zhen, in Beau B. Beza and David Jones (eds.)
conference contributionposted on 2020-10-02, 04:59 authored by Minh Nguyen-Ngoc, Marc Aurel Schnabel, D Brand, J Moloney
This paper investigates the use and spatial patterns of newly developed public squares in urban villages in the City of Shenzhen, China. Given the lack of information about how this type of public space has been used by the Chinese, this paper provides insights that enable the development of more user-friendly public space in China. The research is based on the fieldwork carried out in 2014 to examine public squares in four urban villages in Shenzhen. Direct observation and activity mapping have been used as major methodology for this research. The focus of this paper will be placed not only the formal aspects such as the design aspiration, scale and provision of public amenity, but also on the usage that includes types of users, there daily activity as well as their location preference. The findings of this research address the failure of current design to meet the needs of the majority of users. Chinese public space users seem to have vastly different behaviour patterns compared with their Western counterparts, therefore many design guidelines emerged in the West can be misleading in China. As important, this paper identifies key issues related the design of public squares in urban villages and provides some hints to mitigate such issues. The paper concludes with design guidelines that reflect not only the cultural complexity of public spaces in China, but also how different scales can be mediated to generate a space that allows for a various activities to occur naturally.