Authors: Mariana Magalhães Costa, Adi Lazos, Rogério Ribeiro de Oliveira
Public spaces in urban centers originally served as gathering points where social and political interactions could take place, thus contributing to the construction of a local identity. With recent cultural shifts and with the rise of a new form of public space online, the original functions of public spaces and urban parks seem out of date. While cities worldwide tend to become ever more generic, recent urban planning approaches defend the importance of nature and wilderness –provided by the parks- in our urban lives. Taking these arguments into consideration, this paper questions this new role that public space must take on in order to adapt to the needs of the contemporary society. In what ways do urban parks contribute to the construction of an urban identity in the 21st century? This paper proposes an analysis of green urban spaces in cities whose urban identities stand out as accomplished examples in urban planning, these are: Curitiba, London, New York and Singapore. The criteria adopted in this investigation consider the urban and landscape design, environmental services and public policies for the implementation and conservation of these spaces. The aim is to understand the role played by urban parks in the creation of an urban identity.
Keywords: Urban Centers, Urban Planning, Urban Parks, Identity, Public Space