The Relationship between the Spatial Configuration and the Fourth Sustainable Dimension Creativity in University Campuses: The Case Study of Zernike Campus, Groningen, The Netherlands

Isabelle Soares*, Claudia Yamu, Gerd Weitkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

To date, little is known about the spatial aspects of the creativity of university campuses and their public spaces. This study recognises that creativity is the fourth sustainability, because the spatial configuration of campuses and city-university accessibilities are ‘creative solutions’ conceived for human needs. At the same time, creative ideas depend on interactions between individuals and the built environment. Therefore, based on the theoretical framework of the scholars who have explored the spatial aspects of creativity, this study empirically investigates Zernike Campus, Groningen, and its public spaces using a mixed-methods approach that involves (1) a space syntax analysis of the campus’s spatial configuration, (2) volunteered geographic information (VGI) of the users’ perceptions, and (3) non-participatory observations of the interactions between people and the built environment in public spaces with high and low ‘potential for creativity’. The results show that creativity cannot be explained simply by analysing spatial configurations, but that it also depends on the combination of the land-use mix, physical features, positive experiences, and perceptions of a sense of place which enable trust and interactions, and which facilitate creative encounters. Therefore, the mixed-methods approach applied here can help urban planners and designers to address public spaces more effectively, integrating conditions that support creativity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9263
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalSustainability
Volume12
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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