Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ode to Public Spaces

What makes a public space work? Budapest has lots of small public squares and it's not always clear why one buzzes with human activity and the other serves as a neighbourhood dustbin.

A new book called Ten Spaces (Tíz Tér), published by Városháza Kiadó, examines 10 minor public squares in Budapest and what they contribute to their neighbourhoods. As author Kristin Faurest (full disclosure -- she's my wife!) writes:
The book is my own personal ode to ten neighborhood squares of Budapest. It's the result of many months of observing, watching, researching and contemplating what makes a small urban space work and they make our cities more beautiful, livable and vibrant places.
The 10 spaces in question are: Hunyadi tér, Mechwart Liget, Szent István Liget, Kós Károly, Teleki, Klauzál tér, Fő tér, Károlyi-kert, Ferenc and Mátyás.

What has this got to do with bicycling? Public squares serve as natural traffic calmers; they help freshen the air; they give us pleasant, easy-to-bike-to places for socialising and recreating; and they provide capacious inner-city places to park our bikes.

The official launch of Ten Spaces will be at the annual Book Week festival at Vörösmarty tér, June 4-8. On Saturday June 5 on "Book Night" Kristin will be dedicating copies of it from 8 p.m. to midnight.

The book has been published in separate language versions in English, German and Hungarian. You can get copies at the Libri online bookshop here, or at any one of Libri's ubiquitous brick-and-mortar stores (among other book shops).


dalos said...

got it!

Wonton Woman said...

Hi Greg,
I'd love to get an English version of my old friend Kristin's book in English but I don't know where to get it in England. Would you say hi to her from Kevin Baker? All the best, Kevin (Baker) Morrice