Urban design and the future of the city centre : international perspectives

Rogerson, Robert J and Giddings, Bob; Negrao, A and Canova, C and Castor, D and Ribeiro da Silveira, J, eds. (2023) Urban design and the future of the city centre : international perspectives. In: Lugares e Suas Interfaces Intraurbanas. UNIPE, Joao Pessoa. (In Press)

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This chapter explores how a more liberated, critical and sustainable form of urban design is needed to help ensure that city centres around the world continue to retain their unique position in urban systems. Four city centres, from four continents, make the argument that contemporary urban design of central spaces should be more adaptive to local contexts, engaging with local communities and citizens to meet their needs, and be more sensitive in the ways in which global planning and development are applied in each place. Joao Pessoa Brazil, Newcastle upon Tyne UK, Tshwane-Pretoria South Africa, and Newcastle New South Wales Australia were the focus of a project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the UK that brought together international academic partners, including Geovany da Silva, to investigate the on-going ways in which they could be designed and managed in the future. The specific local contexts are expressed to reinforce the variegated challenges faced by each city, and the contrasting and empathetic ways in which local stakeholders could conceive them. These contexts are set in a matrix with the universal perspectives of environment, society, economics, politics, and culture. The perspectives are tailored to the needs of city centres and include – physical planning and sustainable design, community action and social justice, inward investment and the local economy, governance, and identity. The objective is to generate a framework for the development of the future city centre. It is anticipated that such an approach will be applicable to other cities throughout the world.