Pedestrian-intensive areas, increasingly bear the imprint of globalization, conveying messages which have developed in an uncontrolled manner and are aimed at conveying their users’ patterns of thought and action. The presence of a dense mixture of contrasting elements and perceptions can detract from the image of a city and can contribute to creating urban decline and a chaotic atmosphere, including increased episodes of street crime. In order to draw up an urban project for the conservation and enhancement of place identity whilst being able to tackle the challenge of globalization, in such thoroughfares, which are often especially representative of their respective cities, we need suitable methods of analysis and planning able to identify and represent the urban elements that make up contemporary cities. This work aims to illustrate the original PlaceMaker method, created by the author as a method of urban analysis and updated as a method of urban analysis and design. PlaceMaker gathers, processes and reconstructs the data deriving from different kinds of surveys and analysis and compare these data with those resulting by two questionnaires administered to local inhabitants. The information collected during the phase of analysis constitutes the basis for constructing guidelines for sustainable design. In order to illustrate the method’s potential, we present the final results of experimentation carried out in the Ramblas in Barcelona with the design orientations which take into account liveability, place identity, safety of this place and user preferences in order to mitigate the impact of globalization and achieve sustainable urban development.
Liveability, quality and place identity in the contemporary city: how to monitor and mitigate the impact of globalization on urban spacesIn: JOURNAL OF PLACE MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT. - ISSN 1753-8335. - 3:3(2010), pp. 221-246. [10.1108/17538331011083952]