Policy makers, leaders and developers in many cities do not know the value of their public spaces. This is often overlooked or underestimated. Very few cities possess reliable data and updated methods to determine the amount of public space available per inhabitant and, even more important, on the distribution of public spaces in different sectors, districts and types of settlements. Therefore, to inform on how to improve a city’s supply, quality and distribution of public spaces and to define “this is where we want to go” requires that cities know where they are now.
While surveys and maps can offer a general picture of the position and type of public spaces in a city, a city-wide survey will reveal both the quality and supply of public space and offer useful information on the availability and quality of public spaces and help identify performance targets for the future measuring: supply, quality, distribution and accessibility. Without a clear strategy/policy, it is difficult for local governments to priorities, spend and plan resources and to show how much public space is valued, and to mitigate the negative impacts of site-specific interventions (e.g. gentrification).
The objective of the session is to discuss how to measure the quality, quantity and distribution of public space as well as how safe, inclusive and accessible these spaces are, especially for the most marginalised such as women, children, older persons and persons with disabilities.