Assessment of Public Spaces in a Heritage District, Wuchang, Wuhan, China
The inventory and assessment of public spaces in Wuchang heritage district evaluates the quality of open public spaces and streets, and discusses the value and significance of heritage spaces in this district. It promotes the significant role of heritage places in shaping the community’s cultural identity and improving the quality of life. It aims to integrate a participatory approach through planning and design, where the quality of urban public space can be improved to preserve, conserve and promote culture and heritage within Wuchang district.
Wuhan Land use and Urban Spatial Planning Research Center (WLSP) adopted and contextualized the UN-Habitat’s City-wide Public Space Assessment and Inventory Tool. The assessment was categorized into public spaces with tangible cultural heritage, natural heritage, and intangible cultural heritage. These three categories developed a measurable heritage cycle structure. Within this structure, the tangible cultural heritage refers to the built spatial elements, such as streets and local monuments. The natural heritage is closely related to public spaces and green areas. The intangible cultural heritage includes people and their lifestyles.
The analysis provided an evaluation framework composed of nine (9) values (indicators) to identify and illustrate the significance of the public spaces to heritage. It starts with the investigation of the existing policy, legislation context, and spatial context of Wuchang city. It indicates the urgency of promoting the role of heritage in public spaces in Wuchang. It further zooms into the spatial exploration of the urban form, land use, and neighborhood fabric to identify the specific challenge and potential, by applying the public space assessment tool.
The findings are categorized into public space safety, inclusiveness and accessibility aspects. The vision in this report is to provide protection, rehabilitation, regeneration and transformation for promoting a high quality, accessible, unique, and diverse public space network.