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Changes in Public Space due to the State of Emergency Caused by the Current Pandemic

Abstract: Various types of diseases and the pandemics caused by them have always been a part of a human society. They often caused a decrease in a population, a decline of many villages and towns and such, the pandemics have often changed settlement patterns. In addition, they also influenced people's behavior, and subsequently the way people designed cities and their public spaces, notably streets and squares. The following article aims to identify changes in the use of the public space, that have emerged since spring of 2020 as a result of the current pandemic, in the context of the Czech Republic and worldwide also. Additionally, it aims to identify the contemporary and prospective effect of these changes on the approach to designing and modifying public spaces. The work presented is based on the definition of a public space according to the theory of prof. Ing. arch. Michal Šourek. Based on this theory and further research of: 1) current tendencies in population behavior in regard of the usage of public space, housing and a work style, through press coverage and personal experience 2) current temporary safety measures of some European and American cities through city council statements and press coverage 3) examination of already published opinions and expert predictions in the field of urbanism and urban planning This article identifies changes in the manner of use of public spaces and tendencies of using public spaces in a specific way. The link between the use of private and public space, urban and virtual public space, interior and exterior urban space, and their mutual influence will be examined. Based on the theory provided above and in the context of the consequences of historical pandemics on public spaces, the work offers possible consequences and focus on some existing approaches or changes in an approach to designing and redevelopment of public spaces. These lead mainly to healthier, greener cities, centered around their inhabitants. The possible consequences of changes in the perception of intuitive capacity of the space, the expansion of home-office and decline in popularity of public transport as places with higher probability of contagion will be focused on. Aforementioned consequences will be demonstrated on Adaptation Strategy and Open Streets project of the city of Milan. These findings will be compared with the situation in the Czech Republic. The article submits several general recommendations and trends in the development of public space, such as supporting micro-mobility, pedestrian traffic and transformations of public spaces due to its attractiveness and functionality. These recommendations are already apparent in the current situation and cities should adopt them if they aim to achieve a sustainable coexistence of a population in urban areas (like prevention of lockdowns, closure of public amenities, decline of use and deterioration of public spaces, poor environment) during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and afterwards (in other words after the cure invention).

ANDRÁŠOVÁ, Dušana (2021). Změny ve veřejném prostoru vlivem krizového stavu vyvolaného pandemií.. In: Jiří Kugl, ed. Člověk, stavba a územní plánování 14. ČVUT v Praze, Fakulta stavební pp. 126-148. ISBN 978-80-01-06893-9. ISSN 2336-7695.