The Importance of Public Space for Sustainable Urban Rehabilitation
This study aims to reinforce the linkages between researches on urban planning and disaster risk management, through the clarification of the importance of public spaces for the improvement of disaster prevention planning.
Contemporary urban environments are presently facing preponderant challenges related to urbanization trends, which often result in urban vulnerability, with particular concerning expression in developing countries. Thus, there is a need to integrate resilience in the resolution of urban challenges faced in architecture and urban planning. In addition, there is an increasing need for research on and building projects promoting resilience of urban spaces through vulnerability reduction and reinforcement of resilience capabilities in urban environments. Japanese urban history is marked with the occurrence of numerous natural disasters, and presents a “mature” experience in disaster risk management process, with remarkable lessons for sustainable development towards urban resilience. However, in Japan, the importance of public space towards the construction of resilient city remains unrevealed. Despite the latest trend of diversification of public spaces typologies in this country, their link with resilience literature has not been revealed. This paper attempts to elucidate the extent to which the preponderance of small and medium public spaces in dense, urban areas lead to urban resilience, focusing Kobe and Tokyo cities as study cases. It will also provide new, improved factors for decision-making processes and to urban design codes in Japan, as in another countries. The main goal of this research is to establish a new bridge between research on public spaces and resilience, towards its future incorporation as a complex requirement of urban environments.