Managing public space – A blind spot of urban planning and design

By Chris Champion posted 19-11-2020 12:01


Managing public space – A blind spot of urban planning and design

by Eva Duivenvoorden, Thomas Hartmann, Marlies Brinkhuijsen, Ton Hesselmans,

Managing public space is a big and important blind spot of urban and regional planning and design.

Important, because major transition challenges, such as climate adaptation, energy transition, circular economy, mobility, and governance require substantial changes in public space – both physical and social changes. Big, because managing public space entails enormous budgets and potentials over a long period of time in which management and maintenance take place, which is largely spent operational and sectoral.

A more integral and strategic management of public space entails huge potentials, which are hitherto neglected in the academic debate on public space in general and that of cities in particular. This contribution builds on explorative work on management of public space in academia and on a survey of Dutch managing public space practice and pleads for a more systematic academic debate and research on management of public space.

Cities, 2020, 103032, ISSN 0264-2751 

Keywords: Public space; Asset management; Managing Public Space; Urban transitions; Wicked problems; Netherlands