MODERN METHODS OF STUDY PUBLIC LIFE IN URBAN SPATIAL STRUCTURE
The main aims pursued in the renovation of city’s public spaces are the humanization and improvement of the urban environment, and reorientation of priorities towards pedestrians. To achieve these aims modern city planners are engaged in research the interaction between public life and urban space. The founders in the study of public spaces are the William H. Whyte, Jane Jacobs, Jan Gehl, Alan Jacobs and others. This article describes several different methods of study of public life in city space, proved
their efficiency on practice, such as traditional method of observations, experimental study method of influence of humans’ behavior on urban space formation, and modern method of observations by means of GPS navigation technology. There are some examples of implementation different methods in research of urban spaces.
One of the ways is traditional method to study public spaces, when the observer is located directly in the study place. Jan Gehl wrote in his book «How to study public life», what kind of tools he used for systematizing and registering direct observations. These are counting, mapping, tracking, tracing, looking for traces, photographing, keeping a diary and test walks. Next of the ways to study public life is an experimental method that uses temporal projects with active involvement of community to the working process. That method is used by Project for Public Spaces, their pioneering Placemaking approach helps citizens transforming their public spaces into the vital places. One more way to study city space is modern method of using GPS technology for observations of pedestrian flows.
GPS-tracking was used by Stefan Spek in a series of pedestrian observation studies in his project «Spatial Metro». There are many different methods, but the choice of observation method and way to study public space of the city depends on various factors. The study of social life in the structure of urban space requires a comprehensive approach.