Placemaking, Livability and Public Spaces: Achieving Sustainability Through Eco-liv@ble Design

  • Marichela SepeEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Green Energy and Technology book series (GREEN)


The livability of places is determined by many factors which are in turn influenced by a variety of tangible and intangible elements concerning the area in question and its surrounding. At the same time, computer science and new technologies have in recent decades become increasingly useful supports for the improvement of studies and applications in the field of area investigations. Consequently, the theory of placemaking has been updated and new methods and representational tools have been developed in order to make it capable of illustrating more complex urban scenes and help provide urban sustainability. One of these is the original Ecoliv@ble design method which consists of different kind of surveys, observations and questionnaires. The aim of this paper is to present the Ecoliv@ble design method which intended to: identify sustainable urban livability and the factors which make places happy and livable from the users point of view; and identify design interventions to enhance or create livability. The method is supported by a software, still in development, for smart phone or multimedia tablet. The final product will be constituted by interactive mosaics capable to visualize places and factors which contribute to urban livability and happiness. The main users to who Ecoliv@ble design method is devoted include visitors, tourists, technicians and administrators who are interested in more liveable and sustainable places. The description of two emblematic case studies conclude the paper.


Livability Healthy city Sustainability Urban happiness Cultural heritage and identity Material and immaterial flows Smart territorial linkages 


  1. AAVV. (2017). Health and urban design. Urban Design Group Journal, 142, 12–39.Google Scholar
  2. Appleyard, D. (1981). Livable streets. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  3. Ballas, D. (2013). What makes a ‘happy city’? Cities, 32, 539–550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Burns, G. W. (2005). Naturally happy, naturally healthy: The role of natural environment in well-being. In F. A. Huppert, N. Baylis, & B. Keverne (Eds.), The science of well-being. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Burton, L. (2015). Mental well-being. In H. Barton, S. Thompson, S. Burgess, & M. Grant (Eds.), The Routledge handbook for health and well-being. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Carmona, M., Heath, T., Oc, T., & Tiesdell, S. (2010). Public places-urban spaces. Oxford: Architectural Press.Google Scholar
  7. Crappsley, R. (2017). Designing streets for good health: Now and in the future. Urban Design Group Journal, 143, 10–11.Google Scholar
  8. Evans, B., McDonald, F., & Rudlin, D. (2011). Urban identity. Learning from place. London, New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Florida, R., Mellander, C., & Rentfrow, P. J. (2013). The happiness of cities. Regional Studies, 47, 613–627.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Friedmann, J. (2010). Place and place-making in cities: A global perspective. Planning Theory & Practice, 11(2), 149–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gehl, J. (2010). Cities for people. Washington: Island Press.Google Scholar
  12. Kyttä, M., et al. (2015). Urban happiness: Context-sensitive study of the social sustainability of urban settings. Environment and Planning B, 43(1), 34–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lynch, K. (1960). The image of the city. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  14. Madanipour, A. (2003). Public and private spaces of the city. London, New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. McCay, L. (2017). Designing mental health into cities. Urban Design Group Journal, 142, 25–27.Google Scholar
  16. Montgomery, C. (2013). Happy city. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  17. Montgomery, J. (1998). Making a city: Urbanity, vitality and urban design. Journal of Urban Design, 3, 93–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Porteous, J. D. (1977). Environmental and behavior: Planning and everyday urban life. Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  19. Relph, E. (1976). Place and placelessness. London: Pion.Google Scholar
  20. Saunders, L. (2017). Healthy streets. Urban Design Group Journal, 142, 35–36.Google Scholar
  21. Sepe, M. (2013). Planning and place in the city. Mapping place identity. London, New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Sepe, M. (2015). Improving sustainable enhancement of cultural heritage: Smart placemaking for experiential paths in Pompeii. International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning, 10(5), 713–733.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sepe, M. (2017). The role of public space to achieve urban happiness. International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning, 2(4), 724–733.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Taylor, A. F., Kuo, F. E., & Sullivan, W. C. (1998). Growing up in the inner city: Green spaces as places to grow. Environmental Behavior, 30(1), 3–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Wang, D., & Shenjing, H. (Eds.). (2016). Mobility, sociability and well-being of urban living. Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar
  26. Zelinka, A., & Brennan, D. (2001). Safescape, creating safer, more livable communities though planning and design. Chicago: APA Planner Press.Google Scholar
  27. Zidansek, A. (2007). Sustainable development and happiness in nations. Energy, 32, 891–897.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IRISS-CNRNaplesItaly

Personalised recommendations