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The Improvement of the Comfort of Public Spaces as a Local Initiative in Coping with Climate Change

Faculty of Forestry, the University of Belgrade, Belgrade 11000, Serbia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(23), 6546;
Received: 30 September 2019 / Revised: 6 November 2019 / Accepted: 8 November 2019 / Published: 20 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in the Built Environment and Climate Change)
Being the vital element of successful cities, public spaces play an important role in achieving sustainable development goals and in coping with climate change. The new urban agenda considers public spaces indispensable for sustaining the productivity of cities, social cohesion and inclusion, civic identity, and quality of life. Accordingly, there is no doubt about the importance of public spaces, while their quality is generated through the symbiosis of various elements. On the basis of normative theories of urban design, several public space design frameworks have been established in order to define what makes a good public place. Such a framework for public space quality evaluation is developed and tested at the Chair for Planning and Design in Landscape Architecture at the University of Belgrade—Faculty of Forestry. The framework covers six criteria which illuminate key aspects of public spaces: safety and security, accessibility, legibility, comfort, inspiration and sensitivity and liveability. In this research, special attention is paid to the criteria of comfort analysed on two scale levels in Belgrade, Serbia. In the past, Belgrade was affected by extreme weather events that caused serious and sometimes disastrous consequences. The most pronounced challenges among them are heat waves in summer that, due to the shortage of vegetation combined with the proliferation of tarmac and concrete surfaces and reduced air ventilation, particularly threaten the densely populated central municipalities of Stari Grad, Savski Venac and Vracar. The first scale level covers the analysis of the public space network and the degree of establishment of green infrastructure in Lower Dorcol quartier, which is located in the Municipality of Stari Grad, using quantitative and qualitative indicators and GIS (Geographic Information System) digital tools. The aim of this study is to observe the actual state of the public space network and to define a future scenario of its development in line with climate change challenges. Jevrejska Street, as an element of the above-mentioned public space network, is the subject of the next phase of the research. The study on this scale level will cover qualitative and quantitative analysis of public space elements such as paving, urban equipment, greenery, lighting, water facilities, etc. Next to that, by using the ENVI Met platform, the actual and proposed improvement of the street will be explored. The final part of this research will include a discussion about the research methodology used in order to improve the public space design process and to point out the need for the careful consideration of comfort as an important aspect of good public space. View Full-Text
Keywords: public space; comfort; climate change; ENVI Met; Belgrade public space; comfort; climate change; ENVI Met; Belgrade
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vukmirovic, M.; Gavrilovic, S.; Stojanovic, D. The Improvement of the Comfort of Public Spaces as a Local Initiative in Coping with Climate Change. Sustainability 2019, 11, 6546.

AMA Style

Vukmirovic M, Gavrilovic S, Stojanovic D. The Improvement of the Comfort of Public Spaces as a Local Initiative in Coping with Climate Change. Sustainability. 2019; 11(23):6546.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vukmirovic, Milena, Suzana Gavrilovic, and Dalibor Stojanovic. 2019. "The Improvement of the Comfort of Public Spaces as a Local Initiative in Coping with Climate Change" Sustainability 11, no. 23: 6546.

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