Revealing the public domain

Public space is where communities find their expression both of what binds them and their richness and diversity. The designer has the responsibility to provide convivial, safe and accessible spaces with an abundance of planting. He must take into account changing climatic conditions, the topography, soil conditions, the presence of water and vegetation to create adaptable and durable places.

The public domain is also the place which defines the relationship between the citizen and the town. Taking into consideration the individual, the user, the inhabitant, implies the ability to listen, and to bring out the vision and unspoken ideas which can influence and enrich a project. One must constantly adapt oneself and engage with the future users of a place, accepting the differing ideas and critiques of laypersons in striving for the well-being of all. Co-construction of the city should not be seen as a disincentive but as the vector of a project’s expansion.

The public domain must ensure its role as a catalyst in social relations and provide truly inclusive spaces. Leaving part of a project undefined will allow citizens to appropriate their surroundings and will favour a multitude of uses to reveal themselves. It will encourage spontaneity, social cohesion and collective purpose and promote a sense of belonging. In effect, doing less leads to more.

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