“Public spaces are the living room and the business card of the city.”
In 2014, I joined doctoral studies at the Department of Urban Design, Town and Regional Planning at the Faculty of Civil Engineering at CTU in Prague. As the topic of my dissertation, I chose the legislative and financial framework for the creation, management and maintenance of public spaces. This is a complex issue, which is nowadays very current. After years of stagnation, Czech cities are taking an interest in the visual aspect of its public spaces with an emphasis on its residence quality. Conceptual solutions to the arrangement, surfaces, street furniture and greenery with the involvement of the public in the design process come to the fore. All motivated by an effort to cultivate the public spaces for its users and not only to degrade the traffic areas and corridors.
Conceptual materials, emerging from the Office of Public Space at the Prague Institute of Planning and Development mainly represent a new approach to public space. For example, Prague Public Space Design Manual, Prague Waterfront Concept, Projects and Competitions and other documents. My goal is to popularise this new approach to urban space and to spread awareness among the people. For this purpose, I cooperate with the IPR Prague in the long term. The second goal, contained in the dissertation, is to shift the discussion to the practical part and make it operational. The main problem is the lack of coordination of all participants and insufficient or outdated legislation regarding the technical and transportation infrastructure, advertising and commercial areas. In this respect, we still have a lot of work ahead of us.
In addition to the dissertation, I am also teaching at the Department, specifically architectural and urban studios, aimed at the creation of the city and its public spaces. The estimated date for completion of the doctoral studies is set for spring of 2018.
Website of the Department of Urban Design, Town and Regional Planning (only CZ).