Multicultural needs and the perception of central public spaces in major Lithuanian cities

Keywords: multiculturalism, ethnic diversity, cultural integration, different needs, public spaces

Abstract

The paper presents an analysis of the needs and perception of different ethnic groups with regard to public spaces in the central areas of major Lithuanian cities, and an evaluation of the possibilities for implementing solutions to them, in order to highlight the needs within the spatial structures. Three research methods were chosen to determine the importance of the needs of different cultures when creating public spaces. The first is a sociological survey of the opinion of different ethnic groups based on three main models of environmental psychology: the natural, physical and the social and behavioural environments. The second is a stimulatory-comparative sociological survey of the opinion of different ethnic groups, and the third is the expert assessment of the level of attractiveness of existing public spaces in major Lithuanian cities based on Nikos Salingaros’ parameters according to a classification of visual information into morphological/structural and harmony-related evaluation parameters, which were evaluated by respondents and by observations in situ. The main findings of the research showed the importance of the needs of different cultures in public space, and the principle of harmony between human beings and the environment was highlighted in the main morphological and harmony-related features of public spaces, such as spaciousness, small architectural elements, dominant objects/buildings and the abundance of trees/greenery.

Author Biographies

Austėja Mačikūnaitė, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Kaunas University of Technology, Kaunas, Lithuania

Austėja Mačikūnaitė (b. 1997) - Architect, artist, graduated of KTU (Kaunas University of Technology) - 1st and 2nd cycle. Successful completion of partial bachelor studies in architecture by the ERASMUS + program in higher education institutions abroad: University of Nicosia (UNIC), Cyprus and University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy (UACEG), Bulgaria. Currently working in the practical field of architecture at „MAK group“ architecture and design studio in Kaunas, which specializes in the exterior and interior design creation of individual residential houses, quarters, apartment buildings, semi-detached houses and commercial buildings. Areas of theoretical research and scientific interests: landscape design, planning and design of public spaces, integration of ethnic groups and communities in society.

Jūratė Kamičaitytė, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Kaunas University of Technology, Kaunas, Lithuania

Dr. Jūratė Kamičaitytė is a professor at the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture of Kaunas University of Technology. Today, she is the author and co-author of more than 50 scientific articles, 2 course books and a scientific study; presented research results at more than 30 national and international scientific conferences. Together with co-authors prepared 20 architectural and spatial planning projects; participated and is participating in 8 national and international research projects; in two study projects. She is a head of architecture study programs and a member of the Doctoral Committee of History and Theory of Arts. She is also a member of editorial board of the scientific Journal of Sustainable Architecture and Civil Engineering. Her main research interests include analysis and evaluation of landscape visual quality, methods of visual impact assessment, evaluation of potential and dynamics of city structures, cultural and landscape identity studies, expression of sustainable development concept in architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning. Since 2018 she is a member of the Research Group “Cultural and Spatial Environment” at the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture (KTU) and an associate member of the research laboratory of CNRS ESPACE UMR 7300 (University of Aix-Marseille). Contact: jurate.kamicaityte@ktu.lt

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Published
2022-06-08
Section
Original Scientific Paper