This article analyses how people experience public spaces with relation to inclusivity and what the role of the design in this experience is, using Folkets Park (FP) in Copenhagen as a case study. The analysis focuses on the user groups, uses and relationship between the design and people’s experience of inclusivity in FP.
Located in the middle of the culturally diverse neighborhood of Nørrebro, FP is an interesting urban space with a vivid history of squatter movements, gang violence and drug dealing. It has been redesigned twice in recent years, and the last renovation was carried out through a participatory process. This history still impacts the experience of many people.
Following four dimensions of accessibility of inclusive public spaces, the accessibility to and experience of the park were analysed, based on observations and interviews with park users and people in the neighborhood. We argue that the general accessibility is experienced mostly as positive, which leads to the conclusion that FP is mostly experienced as an inclusive public space. This is partly due to the affordances of the design of the park and the strong feeling of belonging that some people feel due to the participatory process and the closeness to the Folkets Hus (FH) community center.
In conclusion, we argue that FP today is quite successful in proposing a variety of activities to the diverse users in the neighborhood. The park stands as a free stage, monitored by all its users. Many users with diverse experiences and backgrounds proudly highlight the inclusiveness of their neighborhood park. However, the experience of inclusivity is always subjective and socially constructed, and each user may experience FP differently.
|Uddannelser||Spatial Design and Society, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat|