End-users provide the most valuable perspective and insights into how public social space should function. Much of the failure of urban settings can be related to over-structured urban environments which deterministically prescribe usage, constraining instead of enabling socio-spatial performance.
Planning decisions by specialists should be made with the participation of the end-user to minimise uncertainty as far as possible, creating enabling environments. Placemaking: An Urban Design Methodology presents a methodology that evaluates the preferences of urban dwellers and synthesises these with the planning specialist’s expertise, better representing all views. Author Derek Thomas integrates the Sondheim Methodology with means to understanding cultural clues to create a matrix methodology that links planning primers with planning actions.
A unique new tool for community planners, this book emphasises the importance of the community while taking into account the expertise of the planner in creating public spaces.
Derek Thomas holds a master's degree in Environmental Science from Cape Town University, South Africa. His research into the design and planning of socially responsive urban space has explored a methodology that engages all stakeholders. He trained at the Oxford School of Architecture, UK, and is a published author on architecture and urban design.