The Use of Public Space as Urban Regeneration Tool: A Case Study in Residential Block “1 Maji” in Tirana, Albania
Keywords:Public Space, Urban Regeneration, Residential Urban Space
AbstractAs the urban regeneration process is mostly focused on upgrading the existing urban spaces by improving their physical qualities in order to be more attractive to people, and to generate more life or community life, the use of the concept of public space in this process is very adequate. At this extend, by noticing the difference between urban and public space, an important issue might be raised: whether public space concept can be used as an effective tool for urban regeneration process of existing residential areas? Elaborating briefly the urban regeneration as a process of improving of the qualities of life of urban space in order to meet the social objectives of the people, this paper focuses on a discussion on the role of public space concept as a tool in this process, arguing that are the public life qualities of urban spaces that matters. Based on this approach, this paper takes as case study the residential area in Tirana, built in the early ‘50s, experiencing, recently, some loss of urban space qualities because of new buildings and car invasion, keeping still its traditional urban identity. Analyzing the exiting urban spaces by using the criteria of public space it argues that converting urban spaces to public spaces by improving their public qualities, increasing their accessibility to pedestrians, releasing them from car use, introducing services that generate public interaction and cohesion, could be seen as a crucial tool of urban regeneration process, creating more sociable and enjoyable environment, leading to more sustainable or long term solution. The paper concludes that public space concept, in its core, should be seen as an important and effective designing tool for restructuring the urban space in the urban regeneration process.
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