In the last 10 years a variety of neighbourhoods have been built in central London where space is “a real luxury”. Recent realisations have demonstrated how inadequate is the answer, they have forgotten some basic requirement related to the everyday life. Innovations are related only to a specific sector: planning or environment or urban design. The “crazy” building market has grasped the opportunities without answer at “the sustainable living”. The major challenge had to be: find solutions “through” the spatial dimension. Planning and urban design will become key factors in shaping, managing and generating “spaces”. The making of better places that are valued and have identity had to be once more the mission/ambition of planning and urban design. Planners should have the courage to manage the complexity of the competing uses, residential and commercial vs open space, “through” the spatial dimension. In London the Boroughs, as Local Authority, have taken consciousness on how distant they are from contemporary city reality: a veritable archipelago of inhabitant where often space is a reason for serious conflicts. Recently they are testing innovative methods, in terms of physical planning and urban design, to analyse and to respond the demand of this archipelago of inhabitant, starting from urban green space design. The large variety of communities that live in can have positive consequences in the fields of urban design and physical planning only if perceived as an opportunity to exchange experiences aimed at enriching the same city with different practices. How can be characterized a local open space to answer at: social integration demand; uses related to everyday life (primary services as schools, shops, health facilities and work places close to the home, public transport,…); differentiated demand for each social and settlement context in the contemporary city? The paper approach the links between physical form, social relations and aesthetic qualities of urban space. The investigation field is supplied by the Open Space Strategies written by each Borough giving specific answer in term of design parameters (urban green space connections, open space standard, quality of everyday life…) to find solutions for a more sustainable urban settlement. If our final aims is the right for inhabitant to actively participate at the citizenship (equal civil, economic and social right,) physical planning and urban design had to be generators and catalysts of place making, place identity, liveability and quality of urban space.
Nucci, L. (2012). 32+1 Open Space Strategies: methods to identify and redress contemporary city differences through physical form and design. In Book of abstract.