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Public Spaces

Public spaces are open areas for the public such as parks or public quads that are usually operated by the city or county or borough government through Parks & Rec. These spaces should be areas where people want to be. Spend some time looking at your local community and make your own assessment of the public spaces. What do you like? What don't you like? What can be improved?

I'm going to provide a handful of interesting public spaces that could be considered ultramodern and then I'm going to give you a guide on how to propose a public space in your community. If you are interested in this scope of work, you might want to really look into Urban Design (what it ultimately is).

Mokša is a street furniture released in Lahti, Finland, during the FIS nordic world ski championships 2017. It features a well-lit covered bench. LINK for more pictures and info.

City Bicycle Parking, Menthol Architects, 2011 conceptual design. LINK. Conceptual design for city modular bicycle parking. The project tackles problem of parking chaos at bicycle parking facilities existing at present in many cities. The key idea for the project was to create a modern and modular 'furniture' for the city, which could become the symbol of a 'bus & bike' scheme currently undertaken by many cities. In addition to the bicycle parking the design could facilitate greenery, benches and a place for small vending machine and advertising cabinet which are incorporated into the form of the parking in an organized way.

Sunbolt makes solar-charging workstations for public spaces.

New World Wind makes wind turbine trees. The unique aeroleaf spins with a minimum of 2.5 m/s (or 5.59 mph) wind to produce green energy. Trees can feature LED lights, charging ports, and air purifiers.

Exterior of the New World Symphony and Miami Beach SoundScape, designed by Frank Gehry, Miami, Florida. The exterior of this building is interesting during the day and at night can turn into an outdoor concert hall with a display on an 80-foot high curtain wall.

Unicorn Island, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, Chengdu, China. Chengdu is a technology-based city. It produces computer chips and mobile computing hardware. This is a new park design for that sort of community.

Public spaces can be a park, public seating/gathering area, a new public bus stop, public EV charging, recycling drop off, or even a combination of things.


How To Propose A New Public Space

Before you begin, you will want to have an idea and find empty land for that idea. Also, find a city or county or borough board/commission to submit your idea to. This may be Parks and Recreation or a Sustainability Commission or something along these lines.

Proposal Format

  1. Cover Page with graphics, Project Name, Proposal for [board or commission name], and By [Your Name].

  2. Table of Contents

  3. Overview - A brief one or two sentence summary of your project.

  4. Background Information - Details on what you want in your public space. You can divide these up in sections like a) Wind Power, b) Outdoor Fitness Equipment, c) Outdoor Solar Charing Stations. Go into details with spec information. You can include product pictures. This is where you really get into details.

  5. Objective - What's the end goal for your project? Why should it be constructed? What problems would it resolve?

  6. Scope - What are the stages of this project? Scope of work required? You might want to consider project design, construction, unveiling/media/social aspects.

  7. Issues - What possible issues might be encountered and how can they be resolved?

  8. Schedule - What sort of schedule is proposed for this project? Talk to construction companies about your idea to get a better understanding of time.

  9. Resources & Budget - Where can money be brought in from for this project? Mention public sponsorship if that's a possibility. Grants. What is an estimated budget for this project? Can you break it down into construction that may be needed such as: electricians, dirt work, concrete work, mechanical (plumbing/HVAC), etc? The more details you can provide in this section, the better. It is okay to note that a certain thing like Concrete Work is needed, but you don't have a budget number. I put this is my own public space proposal as: Concrete Work Scope: Parking lot, sidewalk/quad space, installation wave bench area $ n/a

  10. Appendix - List what will be attached in the appendix.

  11. Appendix Attachments - This is a collection of files, photos, and data to support your project. This can be as long as you need it to be. You will want: Location Information (maps, plat drawing from city/county, photos), Concept Design (you need artwork to show what you have in mind), Pertinent Data (include data that pertains to your project which may be weather data or something like that), and Spec Information (for each product you want, you need to provide spec data - full of details on the product).

Once you have your proposal ready to go, contact the board or commission to set up a presentation meeting. If you want an additional visual, such as a 3D model, have it ready to go before you set up the meeting. It might be a good idea to have 2-3 large concept designs on foam core board for your presentation.

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