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JOURNAL OF ASIAN ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDING ENGINEERING https://doi.org/10.1080/13467581.2023.2208200 URBAN PLANNING AND DESIGN Assessment of public open space research hotspots, vitalities, and outlook using CiteSpace a a b b Kexin Ren , Xianhua Sun , Jeremy Cenci and Jiazhen Zhang a b College of Art and Design, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing, China; Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Mons, Mons, Belgium ABSTRACT ARTICLE HISTORY Received 12 January 2023 Urbanization is essential for human development and progress. Therefore, it is urgent to study Accepted 24 April 2023 urban public open space (POS) under the dual impact of urbanization construction and the global COVID-19 outbreak. Bibliometric visual analysis is currently popular in academia, as it KEYWORDS can be used to analyze specific fields. This research summarizes the development history, public open space; hotspots, and trends in POS, with theoretical and data support based on the Web of Science sustainable development; (WoS) Core Collection. The study period was from 2002 to 2022. A total of 398 papers were urban parks; urbanization; collected, with the number of papers increasing over time. The research covers various fields, urban vitality including environment, architecture, ecology, geography, design, behavior, etc. The results show that POS research hotspots include form layout, social value, and sustainable renewal. This paper demonstrates that there is a lack of vitality in urban POS. Although affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the fundamental reason for this is that the vitality of POS is not created from multiple dimensions. Vitality should be enhanced according to the space’s terrain, ecology, environment, and other factors. POS research lacks crossdisciplinary collaboration and the fusion of multiple fields. Thus, cooperation between the various disciplines involved must be strengthened. In the future, POS research should change its design concept, continue to place the “human” in the leading position, establish a multidisciplinary research system, use local empirical cases, and develop applicable theories that can be extended upon. Thus, it will be possible to build harmonious open spaces that enhance the relationship between the people and the land and provide practical solutions for other countries in which urbanization is advancing. 1. Introduction be considered in countries with rapid urbanization. In the process of urbanization growth, traffic congestion, In the newly released World Cities Report 2022: lack of resources, environmental pollution, and other A Vision for the Future of Cities, UN-Habitat pointed problems should be considered and addressed (Broere out that the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily delayed 2016). A compound POS theory should be established the rapid global urbanization process and that the and redesigned to meet people’s daily needs in line growth of the global urban population is back on with the requirements of urban regional culture (Ma track, with the population estimated to increase by et al. 2022). POS research has become one of the most 2.2 billion by 2050, i.e., that is 68 percent of the popu- popular urban research fields in academia. POS is lation, up from 56 percent in 2021 (Citaristi 2022). important for residents’ recreation, health, social com- Rapid urbanization has promoted the transformation munication, and urban quality improvement (Zhu et al. of urban planning and highlighted the need for space 2017). From the parks and POSs in ancient resources (Zhao et al. 2016; Deng et al. 2020). For Mesopotamia’s Sumerian period, to the urban and countries with high levels of urbanization and rapid rural gardens in ancient Rome, and from the idyllic urban population growth, problems such as POS plan- 19th century city of Howard, to Olmsted’s Central ning have become important issues. These must be Park in New York, human beings have always pursued considered in order to strengthen responses to rela- harmonious POSs that connect man and land (Anqi, tively low POS ratios and poor levels of sustainable Cenci, and Zhang 2022; Zhu et al. 2022). However, the development caused by dense urban populations acceleration of urbanization has put pressure on the (Ritchie and Roser 2018). POS planning and other environment, and the uneven distribution of the popu- issues, for example, those related to environmental lation has affected open space resources (Chen, Liu, problems, housing problems, traffic problems, should CONTACT Jiazhen Zhang email@example.com Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Mons, Rue d’ Havre, 88, Mons 7000, Belgium © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group on behalf of the Architectural Institute of Japan, Architectural Institute of Korea and Architectural Society of China. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent. 2 K. REN ET AL. and Lu 2016). As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic sometimes used to specifically refer to POS (Francis and the associated lack of outdoor activities, people’s et al. 2012). From the perspective of public goods, mood and health were significantly affected and the urban POS is a place and space created and maintained prevalence of mental illness increased (Takiguchi et al. by public power for the use and enjoyment of all 2023). These factors helped to accelerate open space citizens. It has the characteristics of both a public replanning and form a perfect open space control space and an open space. It is an open space in the system. To this end, the visual analysis of POS will city that is open to the public to some extent (Low, provide practical methods and reference significance Taplin, and Scheld 2009). for many countries. In 2002, the E.U. adopted “Environment 2010: Our As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the current Future, Our Choice”, which outlined a set of environ- definition of POS may need to be reconsidered. For mental development goals for the subsequent 10 years example, as a result of the restrictions on indoor gath- (Negrea et al. 2006). This policy proposed to achieve erings, many businesses converted restaurant parking a high level of protection based on the consideration lots into a restaurants, nucleic acid testing was con- of regional differences and included four priority plan- ducted in the park, and movies were played in play- ning principles: 1. Climate change; 2. Conservation of grounds, etc (Sax 2018; Meeks and Murphy 2016). nature and biodiversity; 3. Environment and health; 4. These unusual behaviors made us rethink the defini - Improvement of sustainable use of natural resources tion of POS. For example, the Chinese government and management of services. This policy brought the formulated the general policy of dynamic zero clearing sustainable development of the space environment and regulations to control the flow of the population into the spotlight as a major research theme. In turn, (Zhou et al. 2020) in which people required a valid POS research became central. nucleic acid test to enter public places. These POS- In 2002, the development of the POS sector was related activities, which did not exist before the boosted by the introduction of the E.U. COVID-19 pandemic, are unusual. In the existing Environmental Programme. The details of the related research on public space planning, a great deal of documents are shown in Table 1 (Reimer, Getimis, and attention is paid to urban design at the microlevel, Blotevogel 2014; Thompson and Maginn 2012; Nadin and there is a lack of macroresearch on POS and Stead 2008). (Hongguo, Xiaoyu, and Yuchen 2022; Wang, Yung, “Carbon neutrality” is located in the exploration and and Sun 2022; Korani and Shafiei 2022). Countries application phase of efforts (Wang et al. 2021). around the world have established rational public Considering the current social background in particu- space development systems, which are essential to lar, how to establish a complete research system to guiding the development of POSs, as a means of cop- optimize and adjust the scale and layout of open space ing with urbanization. under the influence of “Carbon neutrality” develop- The promulgation of the Metropolitan Open Space ment and “COVID-19” (Hepburn et al. 2021) is vital for Law in London in 1877 marked the emergence of the the sustainable development of humanity. Therefore, modern open space (Eisenman 2013). Open space can by identifying and analyzing POS trends, the basic refer to public or private land use; thus, the concept of elements and keywords related to public space were open space is broader than the concept of “POS” determined. In addition, CiteSpace analyzed the (Nikolaidou et al. 2016). Nevertheless, they are often research trends and other hot issues in this field. This used interchangeably in practice, and open space is paper puts forward various concepts, such as future Table 1. Typical spatial planning policies in POS. Issued Document Region time Connotation E.U. Compendium of Spatial Planning Systems EU 1997 Create a more rational spatial organization and linkage of sites that balance the and Policies need for development while protecting the environment and achieving various social and economic goals; Environment 2010: Our Future, Our Choice EU 2002 This mainly defines the objectives, implementation principles, and priority areas of E.U. environmental policy for the subsequent 10 years; Planning and Compulsory UK 2004 Spatial planning as the core of the reform; Purchase Act 2004 Urban and Rural Planning China 2007 The need to consider the long-term development of the city and make predictive Law arrangements; Several opinions on the China 2019 The incorporation of important natural ecosystems with national representation establishment of a territorial spatial planning into the national park system, the implementation of strict protection, and the system and supervision of implementation formation of a nature reserve management system with national parks as the main body, nature reserves as the basis, and various nature parks as a supplement; Carbon Neutral Adelaide Action Plan 2016–2021 Australia 2016 Five ways to achieve carbon neutrality are listed: energy-efficient building forms, zero-emission transportation, achieving 100% renewable energy, reducing waste and water emissions, and offsetting carbon emissions. JOURNAL OF ASIAN ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDING ENGINEERING 3 optimization, the further expansion of the research direction and overall framework, and the basis and suggestions for public space research, all of which provide guidance and practical experience. We can confirm that our hotspot analysis of public space dif- fers from that of previous research. On the basis of previous research, providing new ideas and coping methods is both an important subject and keyword Figure 1. The relationship diagram of POS, PS, and OS. for research and development. This paper discusses the concept, research signifi - Future, Our Choice” (2002–2012). Therefore, the data cance, and future development direction of POS the- collection period was from January 2002 to ory, mainly from three aspects: a review of global POS September 2022. The plan consists of eight chapters, development; an analysis and exposition of the emer- which mainly define the objectives, implementation gent keywords, research direction, and future research principles, and priority areas of E.U. environmental pol- hotspots related to POS based on data visualization; icy for the subsequent 10 years. The proposals in this research prospects in the post-COVID-19 period and plan promoted the development of the POS field. This how to establish compound POS. paper selected research results from nearly 20 years, i.e., This paper is structured as follows: the first part from 2002 to 2022, for the visual analysis. introduces the data sources and research methods. The related concepts of public space include open The second part analyzes the related public space space, POS, and green space, which are closely related policies and provides the case for POS. Then, according but have some differences (Francis et al. 2012). In this to the number of published papers, published author paper, POS was selected as the keyword in the WoS cooperation, published journals, publication coopera- core set for retrieval. Sometimes, POS and public space tion distribution, and research institutions are are used equally in practical applications, but “POS” is reviewed. Then, for the most influential categories in more targeted (Francis et al. 2012). The previous stu- the research field, highly cited articles and literature dies on POS did not explain the difference between are listed for analysis and summary. We obtained the POS and public space (PS). The specific relationship is latest research hotspot and future research directions shown in Figure 1. In this paper, “Topic” was selected by analyzing the keywords. Finally, this paper discusses as the retrieval type to retrieve the title, abstract, the future research hotspots, evolution, and prospects. author, and keywords from the WoS core set. 2. Data sources and research methods 2.2. Research methods 2.1. Data sources CiteSpace is a scientific bibliometric analysis tool for To apply a bibliometric analysis to POS, the first step literature reviews. It is a knowledge mapping software was to select the database. In this study, we chose the for visualizing information based on the Java platform, WOS platform as the database. presenting the structure, laws, and distribution scien- In 1997, Thomson integrated SCI, SSCI, and AHCI in tific knowledge through a visual analysis. In hot topic order to use the open internet environment to create research, emerging cutting-edge topic identification is an online version of the multidisciplinary literature very useful (Wu et al. 2022). The resulting graph is database, which is known as the Web of Science called a “knowledge graph” or “bibliometric map”. In (Zhang et al. 2020). The database includes a variety of this research, CiteSpace 5.8R3 was used to obtain 561 other databases and more than 20,000 high-impact articles. Through screening and sorting, 398 effective academic journals and conference documents of glo- pieces of literature were obtained for analysis by elim- bal importance, covering many fields such as natural inating reviews, book chapters, news, and other types science, art, and humanities. Its authority and scientifi - of literature. The visualization analysis was conducted city make it an objective and reliable basis for research. by analyzing the publications, keywords, research insti- Moreover, this database is one of the most authorita- tutions, authors, and authors’ countries in the 398 tive and popular for conducting scientific research articles related to POS. Through scientific analysis, the (Zhu, Koutra, and Zhang 2022), which is why we research progress of public space is discussed. chose to use it. In this paper, the relationship charts show differ - The second step was to select the keywords. The ent fields obtained via CiteSpace from 2002 to research theme explores POS under the background of 2022. In the current research, we took POS as the achieving sustainable development and rural revitaliza- keyword and assessed POS as the search term. tion. In 2002, the E.U. adopted the Sixth Environmental Many keywords frequently appeared in 2002, but Action Programme entitled “Environment 2010: Our the research in this period mainly focused on the 4 K. REN ET AL. themes of “health” and “rest”. The time slice was set 3. Results to 1 year and the other settings were left 3.1. Results by data collection unchanged by default. Key information such as key- words, authors, paper countries, research institu- 3.1.1. Number of publications tions, and published journals were selected and The number of publications is an important indicator analyzed. Through the analysis of the relationship of the development of the field, and the number of between each topic’s information, the development publications in each country directly indicates which status was obtained, showing the development country’s researchers pay more attention to the field trend of POS from 2002 to 2022, and predicting (Wang, Huang, and Li 2022). the general direction of the future development of According to the WOS data collection, at the public space research. time of the original collection, Australia (114), the The core focus of new POS research is to estab- United States (76), and China (67) had published lish a POS system that can satisfy residents and the most research papers on POS, followed by the tourists and express the local cultural characteris- United Kingdom (28), Spain (21), Belgium (21), and tics. We retrieved “Public Open Space” and “Public Canada (20). From 1997 to 2022, public open space Open Spaces” on 22 September 2022. In the WoS publication went through three stages: slow core collection, TS= “Public Open Space” OR “Public growth (2002–2008), rapid growth (2009–2018), Open Spaces”. These records were exported in and gradual decline (2019–2022), as shown in “plain text” format and “full records with cited refer- Figure 3. ences”. Then, the CiteSpace 5.8R3 software was The change in the number of publications is an imported for analysis. The research design process essential indicator of the development of the field is shown in Figure 2. studied. We obtained 398 articles on POS by screening Figure 2. Outline of POS research design. JOURNAL OF ASIAN ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDING ENGINEERING 5 Figure 3. Statistics on the number of research publications in POS, 2002–2022. for the annual publication of articles, general analyses, With the intensive research on ecological sustain- research, and development in 2002–2022. The devel- ability and the epidemic restricting people’s travel in opment of POS has experienced three stages: Slow recent years, the research on POS gradually gained development, rapid development, and gradual interest. This will allow POS to rapidly develop into decline. a mature field, establish a sound system, and provide practical assistance to other countries. However, all Slow development research has a lag, and article publishing takes time. This paper predicts that the number of articles in this In 1997 and 1999, public space policies were intro- field will grow again in the coming years. duced (Table 1), but the research intensity was low during this period. People began to study the POS 3.1.2. Major journal analysis field in 2002. The number of publications developed The analysis of major journals can be used to assess steadily between 2002 and 2008. which journals play a key role in the development process of the POS field and provide directions for ● Rapid development subsequent research findings (Vogel 2012). The node type was set to the cited journal, and From 2009 to 2018, research on POS increased signifi - the time slice was set to 1 year to generate a map of cantly, reaching its peak in 2019. During this period, co-cited journals. In the CiteSpace analysis, the num- various countries introduced planning policies on POS, ber of nodes in the journal distribution was 606, the dramatically promoting people’s enthusiasm for connection value was 3572, and the density was research in this field. According to the CiteSpace ana- 0.0195. As shown in Table 2, the top five most cited lysis, Australia published the most papers in this field. journals were Landscape Urban Plan (ISSN 0169– This paper found that the publication of Planning 2046), Health Place (ISSN 1353–8292), American Adelaide in 2016 facilitated the emergence of many Journal of Preventive Medicine (ISSN 0749–3797), studies. Preventive Medicine (ISSN 0091–7435), and Social Science Medicine (ISSN 0277–9536), with more than Gradual decline 150 articles overall. In terms of centrality, the top five most influential journals were Urban Studies (0.1), From 2019 to 2022, research on public space tended to American Journal of Health Promotion (0.1), be less popular compared with the second stage. In Environment and Planning B-Planning & Design the second phase, as urbanization in most countries (0.1), Journal of the American Planning Association was rapidly developing, the proposal of core human (0.09), and American Journal of Preventive ideas increased academic POS research. However, Medicine (0.08). since the COVID-19 pandemic, the academic focus Regarding the main research directions in this has shifted, and the POS research field has brought research field, as shown in Figure 4, POS is an impor- forth new implications. tant factor in the urban system, which cannot exist 6 K. REN ET AL. Table 2. Major journals in POS, 2002–2022. No. Freq Centrality Cited journals Publishers Country 1 217 0.02 Landscape and Urban Planning Elsevier Netherlands 2 210 0.01 Health Place Elsevier England 3 187 0.08 American Journal of Preventive Medicine Elsevier USA 4 154 0.01 Preventive Medicine Elsevier USA 5 152 0.01 Social Science Medicine Elsevier England 6 141 0.03 American Journal of Public Health Amer Public Health Assoc Inc USA 7 126 0.01 Int J Behav Nutr Phy BioMed Central England 8 125 0.03 Urban For Urban Gree Elsevier Germany 9 123 0.07 Environ Behav Sage Publications Inc USA 10 110 0.07 Cities Elsevier England Figure 4. Knowledge map of collaborative journals publishing in POS, 2002–2022. independently from the environment. The research references cooperating with other countries was the into public development space directly and indirectly largest, with a value of 0.36. For more information, affects the fields of ecology, environment, biology, details are shown in Table 3. Germany cooperated health science, etc. closely with China, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada. There was a lack of cooperation and exchange between Japan, Turkey, and other coun- 3.1.3. Major regions analysis tries. If the status quo can be changed, strengthening On the basis of the analysis of the distribution of cooperation among countries will promote the globa- regional cooperation in publications, the cross- lization of the research field, thus bringing significant cooperation of major countries in the research field research progress. By 2022, Australia and the United and the importance and influence of countries in POS States will have completed more than 80 percent of research can be understood. This can be used to pro- their urbanization process, while China and other vide possible research directions and topics for in- developing countries are progressing fast (Tian and depth research in this field (Wu et al. 2021). Wu 2015; Taylor 0000). Therefore, the current research CiteSpace was used to analyze the distribution of status no longer meets the current development needs cooperation in POS research. We found that the field of POS; thus, many scholars have addressed the cur- contained 207 connection values, 69 nodes, and has rent urbanization problems. a density of 0.0882. The main diagram is shown in Figure 5. From 2002 to 2022, 114 papers were pub- lished by scholars at research institutes in Australia, 76 3.1.4. Authors’ cooperation distribution analysis in the United States, and 67 in China. Through the analysis of the authors’ cooperation dis- As shown in Figure 5, the United Kingdom’s pub- tribution, the cross-cooperation relationship in the lication volume ranked fourth, and the number of field of POS and the direction of cooperation in the JOURNAL OF ASIAN ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDING ENGINEERING 7 Figure 5. Knowledge map of countries cooperating in POS, 2002–2022. Table 3. List of contributing countries and number of records contributed in POS, 2002–2022. No. Freq Centrality Year Country 1 114 0.3 2008 Australian 2 76 0.34 2002 USA 3 67 0.2 2008 China 4 28 0.36 2011 England 5 21 0.02 2013 Spain 6 21 0.06 2015 Belgium 7 20 0.01 2010 Canada 8 19 0.07 2011 Brazil 9 14 0.04 2008 New Zealand 10 14 0 2010 Turkey field of POS in the future can be obtained. Cross- in the field of POS, as can be seen in Table 4. The cooperation with other researchers can provide direc- analysis shows that the POS research field lacks an tions for new research in the future. academic research team with core leadership skills. In On the basis of the CiteSpace analysis, key research- the future, academia should strengthen cooperation ers in the research field and the collaboration and between local scholars and conduct in-depth cross-reference relationships among researchers were exchanges. In addition, as a result of this cooperation identified. The academic research effects of various and in-depth study, a leading academic team should research groups can be found through their research, be formed in this field. and relevant data can be collected and imported into CiteSpace. The Author Collaboration network map 3.1.5. Distribution of contributing institutions contains 396 nodes, 684 connections, and has By analyzing the distribution of collaboration among a density of 0.0087. The principal authors and their research institutions, insights into the recognition of institutions are detailed in Figure 6. academic support in the field were obtained, thus Among the top five researchers with the highest promoting collaboration among institutions. number of publications, the top three were all from Cooperation between various research institutions Australia (Billie Gilescorti (31), Anna Timperio (18), promoted in-depth research in this field. The image Jenny Veitch (16)), followed by Belgian researcher produced by CiteSpace shows 315 nodes and 506 Benedicte Deforche (12), and American researcher connection values, with a density of 0.0102. The knowl- Andrew T Kaczynski (11). According to the data analy- edge map of the core organizations is shown in sis, seven of the top ten researchers were from Figure 7. Australia, among which three were from RMIT, and In terms of the number of articles published among three were from Deakin University, indicating that the top 10 publishers from 2002 to 2022, the University this research institution engages in more discussions of Melbourne ranked first (49 articles), the University of 8 K. REN ET AL. Figure 6. Knowledge map of co-authors of papers published in POS, 2002–2022. Table 4. Top 10 authors in POS in terms of volume of publications, 2002–2022. No. Publications Authors Institution 1 31 Billie Gilescorti Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), A.U. 2 18 Anna Timperio Deakin University, A.U. 3 16 Jenny Veitch Deakin University, A.U. 4 12 Benedicte Deforche Ghent University, A.U. 5 11 Andrew T Kaczynski University of South Carolina System, USA 6 10 Hannah Badland RMIT University, A.U. 7 9 Mohammad Javad Koohsari Waseda University, J.P. 8 9 Jo Salmon Deakin University, A.U. 9 9 Paula Hooper University of Western Australia, A.U. 10 9 Karen Villanueva Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), A.U. Figure 7. Knowledge map of cooperative institutions in POS, 2002–2022. JOURNAL OF ASIAN ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDING ENGINEERING 9 Table 5. Contributing institutions by frequency and centrality in POS, 2002–2022. No. Freq Centrality Institutions Country 1 49 0.19 University of Melbourne Australia 2 30 0.03 University Western Australia Australia 3 26 0.08 Deakin University Australia 4 17 0.05 University Ghent Belgium 5 14 0 Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University Australia 6 12 0.15 Australian Catholic University Australia 7 12 0.01 Hong Kong Polytech University China 8 10 0.04 University Hong Kong China 9 10 0 lFree University of Brussels Belgium 10 8 0.11 University Canberra Australia Table 6. List of the most influential categories in POS, 2002–2022. No. Freq Centrality WoS Categories 1 222 0.57 Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) 2 201 0.22 Environmental Science & Ecology 3 109 0.06 Public, Environmental, and Occupational Health 4 89 0.09 Urban Studies 5 86 0.09 Environmental Studies 6 80 0.01 Public Environment and Occupational Health We Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-expanded) 7 76 0.13 Environmental Sciences 8 54 0.02 Geography 9 51 0.07 Public Administration 10 48 0.01 Urban studies we science citation induction index expanded (SCI-expanded) Western Australia ranked second (30), and Deakin than the other categories. Table 6 lists the top 10 University ranked third (26). In the top 10 research disciplines with the highest academic impact. institution centrality rankings, the top three were In Figure 8, each node’s size represents the occur- University Melbourne (0.19), Australian Catholic rence frequency. The outer purple boundary of a node University (0.15), and University Canberra (0.11). represents influence, and the thicker the boundary, the Centrality reflects the influence of an institution on greater the academic influence on the node. The a publication. The higher the centrality value, the thicker the purple circle, the larger the influence factor. more significant the impact on the publication. As The connecting lines between each circle represent can be seen from Table 6, the number of publications connections to other academics, and the thicker the and the value of centrality were not the same. lines, the stronger the connections. The figure shows Although the number of publications was sometimes that the top disciplines in POS research were SSCI, large, articles were not always high-quality, so the Environmental Science and Ecology, Public, influence was insignificant. As seen in Figure 7 and Environmental, and Occupational Health, Urban Table 5, there was close cooperation among universi- Studies, and Environmental Studies. Environmental ties, research institutions, and companies in the field of studies had the greatest impact on POS. Influential POS research globally, which will further deepen our subjects included environmental studies, public envir- research. onment, occupational health, environmental science, urban studies, regional urban planning, geography, green and sustainable technology, engineering, civil 3.2. Research fields engineering, etc. These disciplines were closely related to POS research. These data demonstrate POS research Setting the node type to a category and the time slice through visualization of interdisciplinary research. to 1 year produced a collaborative relationship graph Cooperation among various disciplines will change of disciplinary categories. Via the CiteSpace analysis, with societal changes in the future development pro- the knowledge graph was obtained, which has 129 cess. Academia should keep up with hot social devel- nodes and 678 connection values. In the centrality opment issues, conduct in-depth research in the POS display, the most influential Social Science Citation field, and create POSs that satisfy the people. Index (SSCI) had a centrality of 0.57. Environmental Therefore, the Social Science Citation Index plays an Sciences and Ecology was the second most influential, important role in this research field. with a centrality of 0.22. The centrality of Environmental Sciences was 0.13 and that of Urban Studies and Environmental Studies was 0.09. 3.2.1. Highly cited articles According to the analysis results, it can be seen that In the core set of WOS, we used POS as the keyword the influence of centrality was significant, especially search to retrieve the cited articles, ranked from high SSCI, which presents a much higher fault-type growth to low according to the number of citations. Thus, 10 K. REN ET AL. Figure 8. Co-occurrence network of research subjects in POS, 2002–2022. Table 7. Reference with strongest citation bursts in POS, 2002–2022. Citations No. Title Year Total Annual 1 Increasing walking - How important is distance to, attractiveness, and size of public open space? 2005 950 52.78 2 Socioeconomic status differences in recreational physical activity levels and real and perceived access to a supportive 2002 550 26.19 physical environment 3 Urban open space in the 21st century 2002 337 16.05 4 Built environmental correlates of older adults’ total physical activity and walking: a systematic review and meta-analysis 2017 336 56 5 Nearby green space and human health: Evaluating accessibility metrics 2017 283 47.17 6 Creating sense of community: The role of public space 2012 264 24 7 Public green spaces and positive mental health - investigating the relationship between access, quantity and types of 2017 214 35.67 parks and mental wellbeing 8 Comprehensive greenspace planning based on landscape ecology principles in compact Nanjing city, China 2003 204 10.2 9 Public open space, physical activity, urban design and public health: Concepts, methods and research agenda 2015 201 25.13 10 Where are Youth Active? Roles of Proximity, Active Transport, and Built Environment 2008 197 13.13 Table 7 was obtained. The most cited article was between the number of citations and the level of “Increasing walking – How important is the distance impact factors. The journal itself has a stronger influ - to, attractiveness, and size of POS?” (cited 950 times, ence than the article. The citation times of the article 52.78 Impact Factor). The second most-cited paper was represent the academic vitality of the article. We can “Socioeconomic status differences in recreational phy- determine the most cutting-edge research direction sical activity levels and real and perceived access to and discipline through high attraction levels. On the a supportive physical environment” (cited 550 times, basis of the relationship between the years of cited 26.19 Impact Factor). The third most-cited paper was articles and the number of cited articles, we can deter- “Urban open space in the 21st century” (cited 337 mine future hot research directions in a research field times, 16.05 Impact Factor). The main research direc- and the latest research progress. tions of these three papers are public environment, occupational health, and environmental science and 3.3. Research hotspots and research strategies ecology, respectively. Details of other cited articles are shown in Table 7. According to the cited articles, it can 3.3.1. Keyword co-occurrence network be seen that the POS research field involves a wide Keyword co-occurrence is the co-occurrence analysis of range of disciplines. A combination of multidisciplinary selected keywords in the WOS dataset. Compared with research is needed to establish a perfect system and the co-citation analysis, a keyword co-occurrence analysis better meet the requirements of modern develop- can more intuitively display the POS’s hot content, topic ment. In POS, this paper found that articles with distribution, and discipline structure, revealing the arti- a high number of citations did not necessarily have cle’s main content, methods, and core ideas. The data high impact factors, indicating no direct correlation were imported into the CiteSpace software, the time JOURNAL OF ASIAN ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDING ENGINEERING 11 Figure 9. Clustering map of keywords of the papers in POS, 2002–2022. Table 8. List of keyword co-occurrence in POS, 2002–2022. No. Freq Centrality Year Keywords 1 104 0.04 2011 Physical Activity 2 103 0.09 2009 Public Open Space 3 88 0.12 2002 Health 4 63 0.06 2002 Walking 5 54 0.1 2008 Built Environment period from 2002 to 2022, the time slice was 1 year, the the period analysis and Figure 10 shows the key- keywords were network nodes, and the keyword co- word co-occurrence analysis conducted using occurrence map of the POS was generated, as shown in CiteSpace. Figure 9. Through the analysis of high-frequency keywords, it The number of nodes in the map is 360, the con- was found that the POS research field covers a wide nection value is 1366, and the density is 0.021. The range of topics, and the main research direction and research hotspots changed in different periods. We node size represents the number of occurrences, and divided the research in 2002–2022 into the following the connection value is the number of co-occurrences three phases: of the two keywords. The more occurrences, the thicker the line. Using the word frequency statistics Understanding and development stage (2002– from CiteSpace, 5 years were divided into four periods 2008) according to the year, and the first five keywords from 2002 to 2006 were extracted in order of frequency This stage is the preliminary development stage of the from high to low, as shown in Table 8. According to POS research field, focusing on health, walking, parks, the statistical results, in the early stage of POS research, the urban environment, and other studies on human researchers often used health, walking, park, benefit, health. This paper discusses balancing the relationship and urban as keywords, which were the core themes of between humans and POS and achieving sustainable POS research from 2002 to 2006. development based on developing reform and open spaces. Since the space planning policy proposed by 3.3.2. Keyword co-occurrence time zone analysis the European Union in 1997, various countries have The CiteSpace time zone chart shows the research successfully implemented related policies, and the POS hotspot in each period and the development direc- field has attracted people’s attention worldwide tion in different periods, which can be used to (Preston and Clark 1997). This stage comprises research predict the future development direction. Table 9 into the relationship between the POS field and human shows the occurrence frequency of keywords and health. 12 K. REN ET AL. Table 9. The top 5 high-frequency keywords of papers published on the POS every 5 years, 2002–2022. No. Freq Centrality Year Keywords 2002–2006 1 88 0.12 2002 Health 2 63 0.06 2002 Walking 3 53 0.05 2003 Park 4 25 0.07 2005 Benefit 5 23 0.09 2003 Urban 2007–2011 1 104 0.04 2011 Physical Activity 2 103 0.09 2009 Public Open Space 3 54 0.1 2008 Built Environment 4 53 0.11 2009 City 5 43 0.12 2011 Neighborhood 2012–2016 1 49 0.03 2013 Association 2 27 0.05 2014 Design 3 25 0.04 2014 Accessibility 4 20 0.09 2016 Mental health 5 18 0.05 2012 Community 2017–2022 1 11 0.01 2018 Indicator 2 9 0.01 2020 Transport 3 8 0.01 2020 Exposure 4 8 0.01 2018 Ecosystem Service 5 7 0.01 2018 Landscape Figure 10. Annual variations in co-occurring keywords in the papers in POS, 2002–2022. Rapid development stage (2009–2015) 2016). When people’s spiritual needs were addressed by achieving emission reductions, the research tended In this stage, POS received a great deal of attention. to focus on redesigning public and open spaces. Research in this stage mainly focused on physical activ- ity, POSs, cities, neighborhoods, and other aspects. Slow development stage (2016-present) With the E.U.‘s 2020 Climate and Energy Package pro- posed in 2007, which highlights reducing carbon emis- The popularity of the POS field decreased during this sions and improving the utilization of renewable period. With rapid global urbanization, the large num- energy, the research focus in this period gradually ber of reforms, and spaces opening up, the urban shifted to a more spiritual level, focusing mainly on population changed. With this, the research direction the redesign of public and open spaces (Skjærseth also changed (Liang et al. 2021). Landscape design, JOURNAL OF ASIAN ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDING ENGINEERING 13 Figure 11. Co-citation network and clusters of the papers in POS, 2002–2022. green parks, and ecological service systems became and MI algorithms emphasize the research character- the key research focus in this stage (Xiang, Tian, and istics. Through training, the LLR algorithm becomes Pan 2022; Xu and Peng 2022; Zhang, Cenci, and Becue more practical and less repetitive, so we chose the 2021). POS was no longer a single individual but LLR result as the main definition of each cluster. became connected with the surrounding environment In Table 10, the largest cluster (#0) contains 60 and other factors. In addition, people began to expect articles, with a silhouette value of 0.716. The research more from POS. focused on POS, park visitation, recreational walking, urban China, and using space syntax, most of which were published in 2014. The second largest cluster (#1) 3.3.3. Keyword clustering analysis contains 53 articles. They mainly focused on POS, In this paper, a cluster analysis of the keyword knowl- water restriction, private green space, African coun- edge graph was carried out to explore the research tries’ perspective, and ecosystem service. The silhou- theme and the evolution trend of POS development in ette value is 0.837. The third largest cluster (#2) different periods. The period was from 2002 to 2022. contains 50 articles, with an outline value of 0.649. The 50 most cited articles were selected for each arti- The main research directions were POS, physical activ- cle. Figure 11 was obtained after the CiteSpace analy- ity, spatial analysis, three-year longitudinal paper, and sis. The cluster area and intersection represent the body mass index. The fourth-largest cluster (#3) con- cluster’s scale and relationship, and the node’s size tains 39 articles, with a silhouette value of 0,725. This represents the frequency of occurrence. The larger knowledge cluster contains studies on changing rela- the node, the more the occurrence frequency. From tionships, private open space, southwestern Australia, Figure 11, we can see that the POS research field successful public places, and historical Persian gar- formed nine clusters around key nodes, representing dens. The fifth-largest cluster (#4) contains 39 articles, nine research directions in this field. They are ecosys- with a silhouette value of 0.668. This knowledge cluster tem services, physical activity, politics, thermal com- contains studies on neighborhood attributes, cross- fort, space, GIS, visibility, landscape design, and public sectional association, Hong Kong ALECS paper, depres- opinion. The order is from 0 to 8. sive symptoms, and the ultra-dense urban environ- The smaller the number, the more keywords are ment. In the sixth-largest cluster (#5), the number of included in the cluster. The value of the clustering articles is 38, with a silhouette value of 0.823. This module Q is = 0.4608, ranging from 0 to 1. The average knowledge group includes research on Phnom Penh, contour value of the cluster is S = 0.7495, the value Cambodia, open space zoning, people’s tendencies, range is between −1–1, and the value is greater than waste disposal, and urban development. The seventh 0.7, indicating that the clustering shown in this paper is cluster (#6) contains 34 articles, with a silhouette value convincing. Clusters can be counted using three differ - of 0.784. The research contents include increasing ent algorithms: LLR, LSI, and MI. Among them, the LLR walking, distance to attractiveness, spatial data effect, 14 K. REN ET AL. Table 10. List of cited clusters and the number of records contributed in POS, 2002–2022. Cluster ID Size Silhouette Label (LLR) 0 60 0.716 public open space (534.36, 1.0E–4); park visitation (118.39, 1.0E–4); recreational walking (107.59, 1.0E–4); urban China (105.43, 1.0E–4); using space syntax (103.27, 1.0E–4) 1 53 0.837 public open space (223.63, 1.0E–4); water restriction (109.14, 1.0E–4); private green space (94.88, 1.0E–4); African countries’ perspective (91.37, 1.0E–4); ecosystem service (91.37, 1.0E–4) 2 50 0.649 public open space (213.83, 1.0E–4); physical activity (168.73, 1.0E–4); spatial analysis (96.69, 1.0E–4); three-year longitudinal study (96, 1.0E–4); body mass index (95.48, 1.0E–4) 3 39 0.725 changing relationship (127.23, 1.0E–4); private open space (127.23, 1.0E–4); south-western Australia (127.23, 1.0E–4); successful public place (123.03, 1.0E–4); historical Persian garden (123.03, 1.0E–4) 4 39 0.668 neighborhood attribute (95.08, 1.0E–4); cross-sectional association (95.08, 1.0E–4); Hong Kong ALECS study (95.08, 1.0E– 4); depressive symptom (95.08, 1.0E–4); ultra-dense urban environment (95.08, 1.0E–4) 5 38 0.823 Phnom Penh Cambodia (160.76, 1.0E–4); open space zoning (96.03, 1.0E–4); peoples tendency (87.98, 1.0E–4); waste disposal (87.98, 1.0E–4); urban development (79.93, 1.0E–4) 6 34 0.784 increasing walking (110.66, 1.0E–4); distance to attractiveness (110.66, 1.0E–4); spatial data effect (107.18, 1.0E–4); multilevel study (105.17, 1.0E–4); educational inequalities (105.17, 1.0E–4) 7 22 0.947 base metal smelter slag (68.75, 1.0E–4); metal uptake (57.17, 1.0E–4); urban soil (57.17, 1.0E–4); bioaccessibility data (45.63, 1.0E–4); critical evaluation (45.63, 1.0E–4) 8 9 0.932 geographic information system (38.39, 1.0E–4); demographic risk factor (38.39, 1.0E–4); case-control study (38.39, 1.0E–4); canine leptospirosis (38.39, 1.0E–4); children’s playground (25.49, 1.0E–4) Figure 12. Timeline map of POS research, 2002–2022. multilevel paper, and educational inequalities. In the 3.3.4. Research clustering timeline eighth cluster (#7), the number of articles is 22, with To better analyze each POS cluster’s rise, prosperity, a silhouette value of 0.947. The research contents and decline, and each cluster’s specific situation and include base metal smelter slag, metal uptake, urban period, etc., CiteSpace was used to obtain the cluster- soil, bioaccessibility data, and critical evaluation. The ing time axis diagram (Figure 11) and analyze the final cluster (#8) contains nine articles, with a silhouette research themes and development trends of different value of 0.932. The research contents mainly focus on clusters in different periods. High-frequency words the geographic information system, demographic risk form clusters and complete the cluster graph accord- factor, case-control paper, canine leptospirosis, chil- ing to time progress. Figure 12 needs to be viewed dren’s playground, and other research contents. On horizontally. On the right is the cluster’s label, and on the basis of the analysis of these nine clusters, com- the left is the dynamic development time of each bined with the changes in POS research hotspots and cluster from 2002 to 2022. According to Figure 12, the relevant literature, we qualitatively obtained three the research on POS focuses on the concerns of users main research contents in the POS field from 2002 to and space ontology. With the rapid development of 2022: the vitality of POS, people’s requirements for urbanization, certain changes occurred as regards the public space, and how to construct POS. relationship between people and space, and walking JOURNAL OF ASIAN ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDING ENGINEERING 15 became very popular as an activity. Academia should concerns for vulnerable groups, e.g., the elderly, chil- establish a logical POS evaluation system and different dren, and others (Tacoli 2012). The old POSs cannot POSs according to locations and spatial environments. meet people’s needs, so it is necessary to establish new GIS and other application methods can meet the complex and multifunctional POSs or transform old research needs of researchers in the field of POS. ones. This requires a combination of qualitative and Using these methods, POS can not only meet the quantitative research and specific planning in specific physical needs of people, but also the psychological areas. At present, the research on POS mainly focuses and aesthetic needs of users to achieve sustainable on two aspects: development and green ecology. The data show that it is necessary to consider the balanced development (1) The significance of POS construction for urban of biodiversity in POS. These requirements indicate development; that the research process must be sped up, (2) Exploring the establishment of a composite a comprehensive evaluation system for POS should POS. be established, and constructive suggestions proposed for POS. 3.3.5. Research trends analysis The historical trend of open space research, plan- The intensity of keyword occurrence can be explored for ning, and development reflects the gradual under- many subject words to explore the changes in popular standing that POS’s function determines its form. research topics in a certain period. Emergent words With the acceleration of the urbanization process, represent the transformation of research hotspots in improvements to the open space system are urgently a period. In a large number of papers, high frequencies needed. In terms of regional planning, “ecosystem of changes in subject words are assessed, as these service function” and “GIS” should be emphasized to emergent changes show the time of change of each design a “POS” theory that meets modern needs. research topic and the research dynamics in each per- Attractive public spaces should be established accord- iod. Adopting the burst word detection method using ing to the constantly changing relationship between CiteSpace, we detected the changes in 30 burst words people and space. POSs are also an important reason from 2002 to 2022. As seen in Figure 13, there were to stay in a city, as “physical activity” such as “leisure apparent differences in the research hotspots of differ - walking” strongly correlates with body mass index, ent research fields in different periods. Before 2008, which is a growing concern. there were fewer studies and no burst words. Between A country’s overall planning should consider the 2008 and 2011, research on POSs mainly focused on city’s form, land utilization rate, and other factors local neighborhoods, availability, body mass index, per- (Chisholm 2017). On the basis of following policy plan- ception, distance, crime, and other aspects. Since 2013, ning, spatial planning should be carried out to estab- the quantity of POS research literature has increased lish balanced public spaces (Navarrete-Hernandez, rapidly. Research areas have also become more diverse Vetro, and Concha 2021). With the acceleration of and include associations, resources, built environment, urbanization, the mass population influx has placed attractiveness, and walkability. From 2013 to 2017, a burden on existing public spaces, created an imbal- green and other topics received more attention. From ance between population and space, and increased 2018 to 2022, topics such as city, indicator, urban Figure 13. Top 10 keywords with the strongest citation bursts in POS, 2002–2022. 16 K. REN ET AL. design, satisfaction, urban green space, and pattern embodiment of urban cultural power. The construction received attention, and people were paying increasing of space includes public art and other cultural construc- attention to the impact of public space research on tion. In the construction process, environmental protec- urban development. tion building materials, energy-saving lamps, and other materials can be adopted based on ecology to achieve the goal of sustainable exhibition by combining low- carbon development and improving the green rate. This 4. Discussion will include changing the original space design struc- In this paper, the topic of POS was analyzed in the ture, the design pattern, and community cohesion to WoS core database to determine the number of realize the construction of new POSs. papers, journal classification, research scope, the In this paper, regardless of whether we are dis- cooperative distribution of institutions and cussing traditional public spaces, urban public authors, and the changes in research hotspots in spaces, landscape spaces, or other types of spaces, this field. Using CiteSpace to analyze the research they all have a common feature: “publicity”. On the field, we charted the transformation of research basis of emphasizing aesthetics, they emphasize hotspots and predicted the development direction. practicality and are compound. In the case of A keyword co-occurrence map and time map were a population surge, the population density in an obtained by analyzing hotspots in the develop- urban space should be reasonably controlled. ment of POS research. POS research disciplines However, the significance of this paper lies in are relatively broad; thus, the hot keywords were increasing the utilizability of public space and scattered and the correlation between the disci- designing a new type of POS suitable for local plines was not very strong. Keyword cluster analy- conditions. Various things are also lacking in the sis can be used to analyze the POS field’s hot research process, for example, how to realize the research directions and classify the POS field’s hot control of POS redesign in different locations and research directions, thus providing directions for how to ensure user satisfaction with the space. subsequent research. However, in the cluster ana- These are questions that need to be explored. lysis, the division between research hotspots is not Many countries and regions are exploring the con- very clear, the difference is not strong, and there is struction of POSs and are beginning to consider no apparent difference between disciplines. their design in overall planning. However, most We can infer future research directions accord- POSs are still at the experimental level in terms ing to keywords in the field, such as crime, trans- of publicity and theoretical research. There is still portation, self-selection, and canine leptospirosis. a long way to go before large-scale promotion and However, these show that we need to conduct practice. Public space is the carrier of urban culture cooperative research with POS in criminology, and the carrier of public art (Jiang 2019). Good medicine, psychology, urban transportation, and public art creation can promote urban public other fields. In particular, according to a report space development and make POSs a regional cul- released by the World Health Organization in tural symbol conducive to constructing new POSs March 2022, the global prevalence of mental (Bachin 2020). Therefore, the construction, imple- health increased by 25% in the first year of the mentation, and maintenance of POSs should be COVID-19 pandemic alone (Kwon and Rahmati further explored and studied. 2022). In particular, young people felt unprece- In this paper, we chose the WoS core database dented stress and anxiety as a result of the con- as its research method. However, there are other finement, the lack of face-to-face communication, databases, such as CNKI and Scopus, which is the the cancellation of social activities, etc. This report world’s largest abstract and citation database. highlights the necessity of POS research. In future However, after the 2017 update, the Scopus data- research, cooperation with the psychology field base stopped corresponding with CiteSpace per- should be strengthened to ensure that POS plan- fectly. which are not taken into account. In ning is more aligned with people’s physiological addition, POS is used as the keyword to search and psychological needs. the articles. With the majority of the main topics In future POS design, priority should be placed on being urban development, environmental engi- satisfying people’s physiological and psychological neering, etc. POS is an extension of architecture expectations. Then, the advanced theoretical basis and and explores places within the city; thus, the scientific and technological means should be utilized to research scope is unclear (Kondić et al. 2021). achieve sustainable development. According to the cul- According to the POS research, the space utiliza- tural characteristics of different regions, the regional tion rate will again improve with progress in significance and social function of POS should be science and according to society’s demand. GIS, enhanced to make POS attractive and become the JOURNAL OF ASIAN ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDING ENGINEERING 17 Figure 14. Mainstream framework in POS research. space syntax, and other methods will be used to that, in the process of globalization, cooperative transform traditional spaces and discover newly research is an indispensable requirement for in-depth available spaces (Xie et al. 2022; Li et al. 2022). research in a field, and only in-depth cooperation can Figure 14 presents the research output outline. promote the development of a field. In terms of key- word selection, research in the field of public space includes research in the field of POSs, but, in general, 5. Conclusions POSs have the characteristics of both public spaces and open spaces. POS has been a topic since 2002, and there In this research, we performed a bibliometric analysis of is still a strong interest in this field. As an essential part of POS using CiteSpace based on the WoS core database. the city, POSs cannot be ignored in urban development. The dynamic changes in green space and urban design Especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance development were analyzed from the perspective of POS of POSs has become increasingly apparent. The increas- research. The overall analysis shows that the theoretical ing prevalence of anxiety and depression makes POS system of POS practice, construction, and evaluation is research and planning all the more urgent and essential. becoming increasingly well defined and that it is focusing With the development of urbanization, the field of more on the concepts of a low-carbon society and sus- POS research has become critical from the perspectives tainable development from a macroperspective. of public art, the vitality of space, the impact of space According to the current research, research hotspots on user mental health, spatial structure, development in POS are increasing yearly. Although the amount of strategies, concrete practice, and other aspects. Our POS-related literature in various disciplines has declined conclusions are of great significance for the construc- in recent years, the research depth in others has tion of new POSs. Urbanization development consists increased. The distribution of journals is relatively of public and open spaces. Thus, the further explora- broad and spans various disciplines. Regional coopera- tion of urban development, the establishment of green tion between publications is distributed among differ - spaces, sustainable development strategies, low- ent countries, resulting in various groups, some of which carbon cities, resident happiness, livable environ- cooperate less with each other. Thus, there is still room ments, and other aspects via in-depth research in the for increased cooperation. However, the inseparable POS field is vital for formulating practical and novel relationship between scholars and publishers, and the methods. close relationship between certain researchers indicate 18 K. REN ET AL. Disclosure statement Western Australia.” Social Science & Medicine 74 (10): 1570–1577. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.01.032. No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author(s). Hepburn, C., Y. Qi, N. Stern, B. 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Journal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineering – Taylor & Francis
Published: Nov 2, 2023
Keywords: public open space; sustainable development; urban parks; urbanization; urban vitality
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