From the Village to the Neighbourhood: The transformation of open spaces through public housing

A. Garcia Fernandez

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

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This thesis examines urban transformation and opportunities for urban upgrading through the rehabilitation and recycling of public housing neighbourhoods built in intermediate cities with a rural base and slow growth.
The research explores the past and present of the residential estates of the main Galician industrial cities in order to discover, on different scales in four chapters, how the public housing projects built in the second half of the twentieth century were formed, how their urban integration process has taken shape, what the open spaces associated with public housing are like, and if they have served as a bridge between the public, the community and the private, to end with recommendations that can help in participative processes of integral urban regeneration for better articulation, integration and urban cohesion of the open spaces included in the public project.
After a first chapter introducing the problem, the main questions, the structure of the research, the methodology used, and the theoretical and analytical framework, the second chapter studies the context within which the public housing appeared, and how it was integrated into the consolidated city in Europe, Spain and Galicia, in order to explain the location where the public housing was developed, as a basis for analysing the study cases.
Chapter three evaluates the formative potential of the residential estates in the urban fabric at the scale of the neighbourhood, studying the initial formation of estates, considered as peripheral fragments, answering the question of how it affects the inherited territorial structure in the urban setting of the estate. It also shares with chapter four the study of the creation of relationship spaces from the construction of the estates, which allows us to observe their urban arrangement, responding to how it affects the distribution of the built elements and open spaces of the neighbourhood in the urban cohesion of the public housing project.
Chapter four studies current open spaces on two scales, within the estate and in its surroundings. On the first scale, we study the creation of spaces for social interaction in the housing estates, which allows us to observe their urban fit, responding to how the distribution of the built elements and open spaces of the neighbourhood affects the spatial cohesion of the estate. The second scale studies the current configuration of the open spaces inside the estate, responding to how the configuration of the space between buildings influences the quality of the spaces for social interaction.
Chapter five shares the parameters used in the analysis of the case studies, answering the question of what conclusions can be drawn from the comparison of the case studies, which spaces of opportunity are found in the case studies, and what is the framework for discussion from where to begin establishing intervention proposals for the physical regeneration of the estate based on the improving the spaces of opportunity.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • van Gameren, D.E., Supervisor
  • Meijer, V.J., Supervisor
  • Sepulveda Carmona, D.A., Advisor
Award date10 Nov 2021
Print ISBNs978-94-6366-479-0
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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