Frick, D. (1). Spatial Synergy and Supportiveness of Public Space. Journal of Urban Design, 12(2), 261–274. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13574800701306369
Spatial synergy, as defined in this paper, is composed of characteristics of physical-spatial organization of the city which support the actions and behaviour of people, particularly in public space (supportiveness). Spatial synergy concerns the relationship between ‘things and things’, while supportiveness concerns the relationship between ‘people and things’. In the context of the city, things are buildings, technical facilities and plantings; people are the inhabitants and other users. Spatial synergy is achieved through a specific way of arranging buildings, technical facilities and plantings to form open spaces (space segments or places). It is achieved through the way these are interrelated (‘relation and communication’) within the urban fabric. It is also achieved through the degree of accessibility of all such defined places within a settlement unit (‘universal distance’). The physical-spatial characteristics that support actions and behaviour in public spaces (supportive characteristics) are simultaneously those towards which urban design should be directed, if it is to fulfil its purpose. In this context the author emphasizes the viewpoint, in contrast to the tradition of the Modern Movement, that public space has to be the decisive component in creating and developing settlement units that are habitable in the true sense.
This research highlights the role of public space in the ‘relation and communication’ between objects and places and hence public space has to be the decisive component in creating and developing settlement units that are habitable. Further the article notes that the space between the buildings is the decisive medium that unifies the city and makes a case for a new methodology of urban design to discover the essence of spatial synergy that (1) better combines the objectivity of empirical measures and the subjectivity of design and (2) draws on the historically given physical-spatial organization and the current functions of the city.
Description of method used in the article
Theoretical inquiry highlighting the supportive characteristics of public space according to Rapoportv(1990) and Gehl (1996).
Of practical use