Balancing urban security, accessibility and urban quality in 'heritage open space in transformation'

Babalis, Dimitra; (2022) Balancing urban security, accessibility and urban quality in 'heritage open space in transformation'. In: Annual Conference Proceedings of the XXVIII International Seminar on Urban Form. University of Strathclyde Publishing, Glasgow, pp. 534-541. ISBN 9781914241161

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Urban open spaces in a historic context should be considered of great social, culture and economic value and their transformation would develop a sustainable, smart, and future-proof design for coming generations. However, such places of added value should follow design principles for a flexible and upgradable design that can ensure accessibility, urban security, and quality. In defining the "Heritage Open Space in Transformation", (HOST) as a historic open space of great challenge that is strictly connected with innovative urban change" one should consider HOST as a space of special architectural and historic interest, the character of which can be sensitively preserved or transformed. While tangible barriers are a pressing concern for many city centres, all actions related to it are more likely to be prioritized and embedded in a well-planned open spaces strategy. Proposing good urban design with promotion of sociability and enjoyment, cultural and economic values does mean a high reflection on urban resilience and protection from urban risks. However, to deliver a substantial change of a HOST is considered to be the most pressing need especially in responding to specific urban design matters. The aim of this paper is to show resilience strategies and design to respond to a number of urban and societal risks. It discusses on how European cities that design for good heritage open specs should face main key issues such as accessibility, urban security, and protection. It discusses on promoting a sense of place and security creating smart HOST places while creating a new urban condition for changing lifestyles. Finally, this paper investigates on how the area UNESCO of the City of Florence could respond properly to the evolving need for security that has to be considered as an opportunity to achieve good design and contribute to a sustainable and resilient urban environment.

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