Public open space as a contribution to urban development in small Slovenian cities

Nared, P. V., & Lamovšek, A. Z.

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Nared, P. V., & Lamovšek, A. Z. (2015). Public open space as a contribution to urban development in small Slovenian cities. Urbani izziv, 26(supplement: Green Infrastructure in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe), S114–S129.

planning , public open space , quality of life , small cities , spatial , urban development , use of public open space

The article focuses on public open space (POS) in small Slovenian cities. It highlights the importance of planning and designing high-quality, diverse POSs, which contribute to the quality of life and urban development in cities. POS is seen as a key physical element of a city and is defined as a non-built urban space that is, under equal terms, accessible to all. The article focuses on both green areas and civic space. Results derive from a physical analysis and survey conducted during research for a doctoral dissertation. Ten small Slovenian cities are selected, where detailed physical analysis and surveys were carried out. Designing high-quality POS for everyday activities is highlighted. The results show that the inhabitants most frequently use POS when going about their everyday business. The article highlights the importance of designing various types of POS for urban development of cities.

Main finding
The authors find that people most often use public open spaces firstly for necessary activities, secondly for social activities, and thirdly for recreation. Despite not using recreational spaces frequently, survey respondents ranked them as highly important. Streets, sidewalks, and forests ranked high in use and importance.

Description of method used in the article
The authors selected 10 small Slovenian cities, gathered existing and original spatial data about existing public open spaces, and surveyed 1,272 people by mail.

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