Public space is not an academic field in its own right; it is a subfield in disciplines like architecture, geography, sociology, psychology, urban design and planning, etc. Each of these disciplines have developed their own concepts related to the study of public space, or given common concepts different meanings. Therefore, there is a lack of a common academic language for discussing and understanding public space and what goes on there.

The idea with the metadata information is to develop and define concepts and categories that are relevant for understanding and studying public space independently of the discipline. They should be defined in such a way that they can be used across academic disciplines and to identify research gaps amongst different disciplines. We have therefore created six main categories of metadata: Organizing categories, Key concepts, Methods, Disciplines, Activities and Physical types. The definition of the terms in each of these categories developed organically through an iterative process of reviewing existing research, categorizing it, and reorganizing the data and definitions until the research team could agree on a set of meta-data that would allow for cross-disciplinary discussion, research and analysis. You will find the full list of meta-data and definitions below.

Go to meta-data definitions Try searching the database using the meta-data

Organising Categories

Key Concepts




Physical Types