- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 03 Sep 2020
- According to English Heritage, the public realm ‘…relates to all parts of the built environment where the public has free access. It encompasses: all streets, squares, and other rights of way, whether predominantly in residential, commercial or civic uses...’
- DETR defines the public realm as 'Outdoor areas in towns and cities which are accessible to the public' ref The HS2 London-West Midlands Environmental Statement, Glossary of terms and list of abbreviations, 2013.
- Bradford City Centre Design Guide, Supplementary Planning Document, published in 2006, defines public realm as: 'The public spaces of an urban area. This includes streets, squares and parks where people are free to walk. It does not include private gardens or courtyards or shopping malls.'
- Urban Design Guidelines for Victoria, published by The State of Victoria Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning in 2017, suggest that: ‘…public realm comprises spaces and places that are open and freely accessible to everyone, regardless of their economic or social conditions. These spaces can include streets, laneways and roads, parks, public plazas, waterways and foreshores.’
The term can also be used as a means of describing the physical manifestation of community and of human interaction outside the private home. The ‘everyday spaces’ that are used by people to socialise, play, work, shop, traverse and use for activities such as exercise, enable social processes among residents and citizens.
NB: Cousseran says that ‘public space is a particular kind of social space created specifically for the bringing together of people, and where locals and strangers, the familiar and the unusual, can mingle freely.’ (Ref. Post-Modern Movement: The Inscribed City, in Urban Design Futures, Alain Cousseran ed Moor, Rowland, Routledge, 2006)
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Technology is making remote work a reality.
Carefully placed structures add drama to pastoral vistas.
Report provides actions required by 2030 to achieve a zero carbon economy.
What type of cool roof is most suitable?
Active Travel programme prioritises cyclists and pedestrians.
CIAT issues caution for use of new standard.
Industry leaders discuss climate change, the economy and other influences.
The building manager is key to operations.
The impact Scotland’s dynamic coast has on the historic environment.
IHBC announces role in new APPG.
How healthy pond ecosystems support biodiversity.
The architecture of the medieval anchorhold.