Value appraisal of a square: Project

Pavla Kilnarová, Ivana Lelkes, Kristián Škoda


Our society is constantly changing. Regardless, if this development is considered a progress or decay, it has a significant impact on all fields of human activities, including the forming of public spaces. Changing needs of the society influence also the way of using the interspaces between the buildings. However, the new functions are not always compatible with the existing urban structure of towns.

Public spaces are alive. They are not represented only by the volume structure, but they also involve all the life that pours through the streets and flourishes on squares. Every event – cultural happening, political meeting – leave an imprint in the history of that place and contribute to creation of its character and ambience. Houses are alive, too. They are growing, ageing and changing their appearance with the passing time or they get replaced by the new ones.  It is a natural process causing the constant evolution of public spaces.

Decision making in the context of the future of public spaces is a responsible task, as it has a long-term impact on the life of a wide group of public and eliminating mistakes is usually rather expensive. As an example serve the public spaces within the built-up area from the second half of the 20th century that do not fulfil the present requirements anymore. Those spaces have their historic value and reflect their period. To make the right decision about their future form, it is inevitable to analyse not only their current problems but also their values.

The presented methods for value appraisal of a square are complex, including multi-criteria evaluation (by architects and urban planners), evaluation of real activities (by sociologists) and public surveys (providing the opinion of users of the square), can facilitate the specification of problems and values. A common discussion of professionals, municipalities and public are the right way for problem solving. Communication and finding an agreement is after all the elementary privilege of human society.

Keywords: research, square, urban design, town, project, quality evaluation