Exploring Synergies in Different Spatial Design Disciplines: A multi-scale approach to adaptive cycles in public-private interfaces -63


Elena Porqueddu

The physical construction and modification of space in cities are often associated with the disciplines of urban or landscape design, which entail a wide-scale overview and long-term interventions. Nonetheless, complex city theories show how vibrant streets and neighbourhoods, to a large extent, organically evolve, adapt, and self-regenerate over time, thanks to a series of incremental temporary and tiny spatial adjustments emerging from the spontaneous initiatives of multiple individuals. These interventions are linked to the knowledge developed in other spatial design disciplines related to micro-scale short-term transformations, such as architecture, interior and product design. They rarely address, however, problems related to urban adaptive cycles – of streets and neighbourhoods – which unfold beyond the scale of their usual action.

In this respect, the present paper highlights how: (1) spatial designers who aim to foster processes of self-regeneration need to observe and understand the multiple times and scales of social-spatial adaptation, (2) such systemic understanding enhances the potential for unexpected synergies between different approaches, techniques and scales of intervention that belong to the different spatial design disciplines, and (3) these synergies could improve the capability of spatial designers to trigger-accelerate processes of self-regeneration in cities. The specific topic of the spontaneous evolution of public-private interfaces over time is here used to illustrate the argument.

Keywords: adaptive cycles, spatial design, public-private interfaces, urban regeneration, multi-scale thinking, systems thinking

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Posted September 2022 content is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. This permits anyone to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or form according to the licence terms.

Suggested Citation Format (APA)

Author(s) (20XX). Article title. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSDX) Symposium.