Design Guides for Public Spaces
We developed a set of Public Space Design Guides designed and designated for various neighborhoods within the city of Antofagasta. In the first edition, we created four volumes that correspond to the four distinct types of neighborhoods: Commercial District (Barrio Centro), Neighborhood in Transformation (Barrio Estación), Residential Mix District (Barrio Brasil), and Coastal Edge.
Scale - City of Antofagasta
The Public Space of Design Guidelines were a series of studies carried out on behalf of the Municipality of Antofagasta, with the participation of municipal technical teams and coordinated by CREO Antofagasta. These guidelines aim to advise the action of public and private actors within the sphere of design, construction, intervention, operation, and maintenance of public space within the city of Santiago. These guidelines are not intended to replace current urban planning, but rather expand and complement urban planning and land use as defined in the Community Regulatory Plan, other territorial planning, and instruments already in use.
We sought to generate criteria and guidelines that would serve as the basis for the future development of municipal ordinances and regulate the design and investment in public spaces of each neighborhood in Antofagasta, Chile from a strategic vision for the spaces. The strategic vision seeks to comply with the Principles and Lines of Action to help improve the quality of city living, while the Guidelines introduce concrete strategies for the ideal design of public spaces. The guidelines are intended to help protect the environmental integrity of neighborhoods, complement existing land use in public spaces and private properties, and improve the overall functional and visual qualities of adjacent streets and properties while emphasizing people, sustainability, and resilience criteria.
The scope in which these guidelines are applied will depend on the nature and scale of each intervention, the adjacent land use, the existing conditions of the site, and the concurrence of local actors. A portion of the criteria and solutions presented can be applied beyond the neighborhood and to the entire city; however, the majority of the guidelines and strategies are focused on typologies, mobility spaces, and design strategies specifically intended for each neighborhood. The purpose of these guidelines, rather than determining or forcing various design measures, are to suggest a range of solutions to satisfy public policy objectives and improve the quality of life for inhabitants and increase the appeal of the neighborhoods.
This approach provides the necessary flexibility for architects and other professionals involved in the design of public spaces or their interfaces to demonstrate the intent of the guidelines. Additionally, it requires a qualitative process between the user and the Municipality Counterparty, which holds the responsibility to review whether the proposed project or development fits. The guides will then provide a common starting place for both the designer and the reviewer to combat design challenges that require imaginative and cooperative solutions. A vital aspect of these is guides relates directly to the character of each distinct neighborhood and space that impacts the experience and perception of those either directly involved with the project as residents, customers, employees, or neighbors.
The design guides are expected to reinforce the harmonious qualities of any project associated with Antofagasta public space by emphasizing its functional, environmental, visual aspects, and identity. Special care has been taken to incorporate the experience accumulated after the social disruption of October 2019 and the health crisis of COVID-19 in 2020, to deliver guidelines and strategies that incorporate and facilitate the design, development, and the environment. Public spaces that acknowledge their symbolic role as a platform to celebrate civic values, manifest social demands and commemorations are safer and more resilient to vandalism and are able to facilitate necessary physical distancing without losing their nature as a primary sphere for social encounters.