The perception we have of the quality of urban environments is the result of a combination of infinitely many aspects – each of relative importance – that together compose the urban scene. This urban quality is what makes us feel comfortable with the place where we are or live.
The investigation that in the subject Urban Planning VI was carried out into the remodeling and improvement of public space on Camí de Moncada consisted of an analysis of both the physical elements that make up the urban environment in this street and the people in that environment. On the basis of the results obtained from this investigation, the researchers evaluated the urban quality of the area and defined an intervention strategy they want to apply so as to improve the area.
In the first place, they identified all characteristics of Camí de Moncada (for instance, urban, architectural, climatic and topographical elements), and determined whether these, in the experience of pedestrians and cyclists (both those on the move and those in rest), contributed to the area´s appeal or, to the contrary, made it look uglier.
The following are some of the questions they posed:
How are pedestrian flows distributed? And moments people stand still?
Which pedestrian routes do people preferably take?
Which factors affect the quality of those routes?
What is people’s opinion on the value of public space?
Which factors proved most important in the area´s appeal or unattractiveness?
Which of these factors have to be improved?
The teams of researchers on the basis of this methodology proposed a realignment of the road plan. In their plan, they make space available for cyclists and propose locations for quality sidewalks, as both of these are closely associated to greater trading and to the resting places where trade takes place.
To this end, they made a careful selection of vegetation and street furniture that both suit the climatic conditions (essentially, the summer sunlight), and meet functional requirements regarding visual perception and comfort of the
Moreover, some of their proposals incorporate the fourth dimension, the dimension of time. They want to make their design so that it, firstly, reflects the passing of the seasons, and, secondly, shows how time progresses in relation to the activity and the perception of space in day and night settings.