Typical Design Issues Print

​Some of the typical issues that arise in civic space environments include:

  • Non-inclusive space
  • Lack of facilities for all users
  • Dead empty spaces with nothing to do
  • Inactive edges that make the space feel empty and dull
  • Unsafe places with inadequate passive surveillance
  • Civic spaces need to adapt to the increasing population living in cities and centres for whom parks replace the function of private open space – align to Auckland Council growth projections.


  • Civic spaces can have many dangers, whether real or perceived.
      • Apply CPTED and IPTED principles early in the design process to help prevent problems from arising later
  • Lack of suitable infrastructure for hosting events
      • Gain an understanding of the types of events planned for the space, their scale, facilities, needs and concerns (especially consider the size of trucks that will need to access the space to load and unload event materials). Use this understanding to inform the location and provision of facilities such as power, lighting and sound systems.
  • Inactive edges and poor entrances
      • Enliven the interface with surrounding buildings, businesses and streets
      • Ensure all entrances into the civic space are attractive and active
  • Cluttered elements reducing usable space and creating poor sightlines
      • Reduce clutter or encourage the use of moveable furniture for greater flexibility of use
  • Poor local ownership of the space
      • Engage with surrounding businesses, residents and the community to understand their needs and encourage local ownership of these spaces. This could be in the form of consultation, meetings, adoption schemes and onsite workshops.
  • Overshadowing
      • Design to maximise the amount of sun in the space
  • Nuisances and damage from noise, vandalism and skate boarders damage
      • Plan early to prevent damage to features and facilities. Use robust graffiti proof surfacing choices, and skateboard deterrents. Maximize clear sight lines into the space to minimise vandalism.

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