Fit & function

Chinatown Mall – Adelaide, SA, AUSChinatowns in our cities seem to epitomise the idea of loose fit - space for many festivals and activities?

Fit & function: support the intended use of spaces while also allowing for their adaptability.

'Fit' describes the extent to which something serves its purpose, works for people and makes them comfortable.  An urban space can help us to do what we want safely and efficiently.

However, the relationship between people and their environments is never exact, and a 'loose fit' is often most desirable.  Most urban spaces need to accommodate varied events rather than one specialised activity.

Good public places tolerate and promote this variety, responding to a range of viewpoints and contexts.

Where new developments aspire to street level retail uses they provide higher floor to ceiling heights for ground floor apartments in the short term.

Derived from the VIC Urban Design Charter

The Strand - Townsville, QLD, AUS

A key function of public places is to enable people to bring a picnic and enjoy themselves - without having to buy something.  

Place Drivers

  1. Character
  2. Diversity
  3. Accessibility
  4. Fit and function
  5. Animators
  6. Continuity and enclosure
  7. Consistency & variety
  8. Legibility
  9. Structure
  10. Features
  11. Social Fabric
  12. Sustainability

Place Preference

  1. Quality of the public realm
  2. Safety
  3. Creativity
  4. Sensory pleasure


Book reference


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