The Public Realm
Public realm is defined as any publicly owned streets, pathways, right of ways, parks, publicly accessible open spaces and any public and civic building and facilities.
The quality of our public realm is vital if we are to be successful in creating environments that people want to live and work in.
Chippenham Vision commissioned Ben Hamilton Baillie Associates to produce a study on improving the public realm in Chippenham to inform our Masterplanning work
Public Realm Study
Chippenham Vision supported the production of the management plan that sets out Wiltshire Council’s approach to managing the future of the Chippenham Conservation Area. It also plays a role in monitoring its implementation on behalf of the Area Board.
Chippenham Conservation Area Management Plan
The Public Realm (sometimes also referred to as Streetscape) is seen to have a number of important effects.
Businesses identify the quality of the streetscape as important to their ability to attract customers or tenants. A high quality public realm can help businesses build a good image and reputation which will provide a basis for growth.
Good quality public realm also helps attract businesses to an area. It can also create the impression of a prosperous area which businesses are keen to buy into.
People are more likely to want to shop in a well designed and more aesthetic environment.
It helps to attract tourists
The public realm also has social benefits. Clean, well designed areas discourage crime and decrease the perception of crime. The opposite, sometimes referred to as the 'broken window effect' can actually result in increased anti-social behaviour, graffiti etc.
Attractive public realm has an impact on people's quality of life, it increases the perception of a healthy friendly, cared for place.
Good design helps manage the interactions between groups of people doing different activities, it helps avoid conflicts (between pedestrians and vehicles for example)and it creates spaces and routes to attract and direct movement