PUBLIC OPEN SPACE:
A Carnegie Melon Study found that 67% of all college bound students make their final decision based up on the quality of the
The importance of public urban spaces - which applies to Campus public spaces also - is expressed by The Word Cities
Forum professionals' comments:
According to Lord Norman Foster, director of Foster and Partners, London, "The connection between the buildings is more
important than the buildings themselves. When I think of exciting cities, I think of infrastructure, not architecture. The
essence of the city is (captured in) the connections provided by public space. The value of architecture is about what it
contributes to the public domain.”
Urban Land Institute Chairman Marilyn Taylor said,“If we think of public space as connecting…with humanity, and that
providing great public spaces will draw people to cities, we will have been successful.”
A. Eugene Kohn of Kohn Pederson Fox Associates, New York City, concurred, citing several public spaces in New York—the
plaza at Rockefeller Center, recently revitalized Bryant Park, and Central Park—as key contributors to the welfare of that city’s
residents. “The reality is that the quality of the city fabric is what is important. Icons are not what cities are.”
Paul Finch, editor of the Architectural Review, pointed to the irony of public space as being a key contributor to a city’s success.
Although its value cannot be increased through real estate development, “psychologically, it (well-designed public space) is a
city’s greatest asset … start with a park or water, and you will find your city.” “For me, the essence of the city is the
quality of life contained in the public space,”
Jean Nouvel, Atelier Jean Nouvel, Paris, said. "Open space is the key defining characteristic signifying the extent to which a
city values all its residents."
According to ULI Trustee and World Cities Forum Co-Chairman Sir Stuart Lipton, preservation of the civic landscape will be a key
part of the urban agenda resulting from the event. “The civic landscape is at the roots of our society, part of our humanity. It
is both a real and symbolic space where we reflect and exercise our civil liberty. We have to put quality into the ordinary.
The totality of civic space is what matters, not just a few good buildings.”
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