1. Research Topic Overview The nature of the existing urban fabric ofthe many modern cities do not allow for large scale landscape interventions.
There is a lack of accessible green open space to facilitate the currentdevelopment pace, and influx of users that come with it. Green public space isan important aspect of the urban realm that not only has a positive impact onthe physical environment, but also on the health and psyche of the users ofthat space. It is therefore critical that ‘lost’ or spaces that have beenotherwise overlooked, be investigated and explored to be transformed intousable green public spaces. 2. GatheringInformationAs a point of departure for the researchmethodology, literature studies will be conducted to identify relevanttheories, programme related requirements and history.
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This will allow for theidentification of opportunities and constraints on numerous levels. Theoryreferring to; landscape architecture as a catalyst for rejuvenation in an urbanenvironment; the role of landscape architecture in re-establishing theconnection between man and the natural environment; and theory relating tosmall scale landscape interventions acting as a multifunctional space will beinvestigated. Peer reviewed articles will be examined, read and informationgathered, investigated. These articles will form the basis of the literaturereview. 3.Literature reviewIntroduction It is well-known that green spaces canimprove the lives of residents within a city, if these spaces are designedcorrectly and incorporated appropriately into the surrounding urban fabric. Ifone is to consider the concept of a public space, the visualisation of largeurban parks or urban plazas surrounded by iconic architecture might come tomind, however, the current densification trends and development of moderncities do not always allow for these type of large scale interventions.
The challenge poses itself to identify anarchitectural approach to appropriate small and underutilised spaces, or ‘lostspaces’, within cities and transform these spaces with various levels ofintervention.’Lost spaces’ in this context refers toeither, small plots of land that have not been developed, lost spaces betweenbuildings including the street scape or sidewalk, as well as formalised parksthat have not been maintained and have thus become underutilised and dangerous.At a precinct level, these lost spaces contribute to decreased security,community responsibility and engagement as well as the aesthetic character ofthe urban environment. These lost spaces could provide a resourcefrom which the much needed public space can be derived. Although not alwaysconsidered social space, “the street is the building block of urban design and,by extension, of urban life; the city with vibrant street life is the city thatworks as a viable urban environment” (Goldberger 1996, p.
135). These small spaces should not bedisregarded, but viewed as a collective and used as a tool to improve the urbanfabric of our environments. The In Between Spaces Cultures andclimates differ all over the world, but people are the same. They’ll gather inpublic if you give them a good place to do it.-Jan GehlThefollowing section will explore the notion of public space, the role it plays asan economic, social and physical construct and the relationship smallerinterventions have with the larger urban network. The urban fabric differs from one city tothe next, but certain characteristics will remain throughout, specifically that of physical development. The success of acity or precinct lies within the design of this physical development, and howit serves and represents its residents.
This can be especially true foroverlooked lost spaces. As said by Christoffersen, “These inadvertent spaces may be neglected, but they embody thepotential, especially when viewed collectively, to become a powerful,transformative force in the public realm.” In the work of Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities,the essential elements of the urban condition is explored to determine how torebuild and develop cities. One concept she explores is that of visual order(Christoffersen, 2010). Jacobs does not promote adesign intervention that controls the entire visual aspects of the city, butfor a strategy that seeks to “illuminate, clarify and explain the order ofcities” (Jacobs 1961). In a comparable analysis, Kevin Lynch, an urbandesign theorist, deems these areas as “lost.” These places lack structure andtherefore are lost in the overall city form (Lynch 1960).
One could argue thatthese spaces should remain lost and shapeless if they have already fallen intothis condition, however, these spaces often possess great potential to become avital part of the urban fabric. The location of these lost spaces also oftenplay an extremely important role in the way the city is perceived and lived