The public spaces methods assessment: The selected squares analyses in Bratislava

Ľubica Vitková


The article deals with the complex of public spaces assessment methods, which focus to the complex or overall evaluation of public space quality, as well as methods which focus to evaluation of partial aspects of public space’s quality. The article addresses theoretical as well as practical aspects of application of the monitored methods applied in real conditions of selected cities in foreign countries. The article is mainly focused to the methods that evaluate the quality and functionality of the complex of public spaces within a city as a whole or within a part of the city.

The article presents the applied research that was realized at the Faculty of Architecture, Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava in cooperation and by support of the Bratislava Municipality and the office of the Main Architect of Bratislava. The research, in its first stage, was oriented to the system of node areas and their assessment within the Bratislava urban structure. The node areas were considered as natural epicenters of individual city districts and/or neighborhoods. The presented article follows these public spaces as a system and evaluates their functionality or dis-functionality in the frame of the city as a whole.

The article, at the same time, presents the results of detailed analysis focusing to the node areas like e.g. squares of the central city zone. The authors of the research focused their attention to relations between the morphology, spatial types, character of the spaces – ergo their spatial quality, as well as their operation and functional uses, and facilities they provide. The authors observed the relationship between the mentioned spatial aspects and the character of their use, from the point of view of intensity and quality of public life. At the same time, the basic review of functional surfaces and capacity of the surrounding urban area was processed. In the research, the evaluation of problems, drawbacks, threats as well as potentials of the researched squares was paid special attention. The authors especially focused to all kinds of barriers which restrain to provide richer and more intensive social life in the squares of the central zone of the city of Bratislava.

Teachers and students of the Faculty of Architecture were involved in the research. The realized analyses represent the basis for the potential of evaluated spaces.  Recommendations for the process of transformation and revitalization represent the main outcome.

Keywords: Public Spaces, structure, evaluation, square, urban design, methods, town