Konstantinos Pantazis, Marianna Rentzou
Considering the future of our cities, a real challenge is to reinvent the way that we are using them today. Especially in cultures with limited means, how could we improve and even transform the cities we have found ourselves living in, in banal, low tech, affordable and immediately realizable ways? Today, cities are often filled with unnoticed, left-over spaces between buildings, while what is typically called public space is no more than unimaginative, hard surface with nature as decoration.
High quality public space could be a critical tool to create compact, efficient and mixed-use cities where residents are close to nature and where urban life is celebrated. They can become magnets similar to monuments, giving identity and value to their surroundings. Inhabitants will be inspired to use the areas close to their homes more, replacing motorized transport with walking and biking, reducing pollution and gaining free time.
High quality public space can be achieved regardless of its size and type. Although rarely the case, it can be playful, fun and optimistic.