Towards a post-occupancy methodology for measuring conviviality in the public realm
Document typeConference report
PublisherGIRAS. Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Rights accessOpen Access
Conviviality is a term which is used widely in sociology (Ivan Illich 2002, Deegan 1989, Bonnett 2010, Flanagan 2010), but not as much in urban planning and design. Various scholars of urban space have identified a lack of interaction (Gehl 2011, Peter Hall 2011), absence of life in the streets (La Cecla 2012, Scully 2003), loss of social capital (Putman 1996, Olenburg 1989), and disminishing equity (Zukin 2010, Harvey 1997) in public spaces. We view this as a need for conviviality (Simon & Belran 2015). This paper continues our ongoing research, identifying a set of factors of conviviality and proposing metrics for post-occupancy evaluation of existing public spaces. Three broad branches are identified as necessary conditions for convivial environments: physical spaces that are flexible, changing and adaptable; processes and outcomes based in equity, integrity and democracy; and urban uses and solutions that correspond to people’s needs and desires. Within each branch we propose key factors that influence the level of conviviality, as well as ways to identify and evaluate them. The combination of all these factors ultimately creates convivial environments. A better understanding of design for conviviality can inform architects, landscape architects, urban designers and planners to improve the public realm at the scale of the street, the neighborhood and the city.
CitationBeltrán Rodríguez, M.; Simon, M. Towards a post-occupancy methodology for measuring conviviality in the public realm. A: Arquitectonics. "International Conference Arquitectonics Network: Architecture, Education and Society, Barcelona, 3-5 June 2015: Final papers". Barcelona: GIRAS. Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, 2015.