Objective Under the background of the “urban renewal” policy, the number of pocket parks has surged in China. In view of the blowout growth of the quantity of pocket parks, how to maximize the service capacity of pocket parks based on the efficient layout of the location and function of pocket parks and the full consideration of scattered urban “pocket” space has become a key issue in the shift of the focus in pocket park construction from “quantity” to “quality”. At present, there is a concept of “synergistic micro green space cluster”, which aims to regulate the layout and quantity of multiple pocket parks in a high-density environment, so as to make up for the disadvantage of the small scale and insufficient influence of a single park. However, most of the current design optimizations based on the benefit analysis of micro green spaces mainly focus on macro-level strategies such as addition of green space and area regulation, while seldom providing guidance for detailed design of park site such as the proportion of hard area, plant species, and pavement materials. In order to further explore the ways to give full play to the advantages of pocket park bundles from the perspective of micro design, this research introduces the synergy theory into the discussion of design practice mode. By dismantling the internal design elements of the pocket park system, and discussing the synergistic combination between different elements in the system, the research object is optimized from the spatial layout optimization at the site scale to the functional organization optimization of the design elements at the element scale. The overall service performance of the pocket park is improved through refined design, in order to solve the problem of low efficiency of existing space design.
Methods In order to propose a synergistic design strategy at the micro level more accurately, the research object is further disassembled into the internal components of pocket park. Moreover, all the deconstructed design components are regarded as several data samples, and how different components should be synergistically combined to play a better role in the clustering effect is discussed, so as to guide the generation of micro synergistic design strategy. The various types of “bundles” formed by clustering and reorganization according to the degree of similarity between pocket parks are collectively referred to as “pocket park bundles”, which is used to distinguish the concept of “synergistic micro green space cluster” with individual pocket parks as the research object. The three principles of synergy theory, namely self-organization, synergy effect, and servo, are applied to the research of micro design practice, and the synergistic mechanism of the design elements of pocket parks in the selected plots is accurately tracked and controlled. In this research, the pocket park space ontology is taken as a system, and the design elements carrying different functions in space are taken as several elements in the system. Additionally, an efficient synergistic design system is constructed through the overall coordination of design elements, and multiple pocket park functions are mobilized to play a synergistic role. Through the overall planning of design elements, this research strengthens the functional cooperation between different park sites in the same area, and effectively avoids the problems of functional redundancy and design process repetition in the process of decentralized design.
Results Taking Gucheng County in Hebei Province as an example, this research constructs a synergistic design model of “pocket park bundle”. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model, five categories of functional needs that should be met by decomposing pocket parks are basic use (physiological needs), boundary integration (safety needs), neighborhood interaction (social needs), style and feature continuation (respect needs), and value transmission (self-realization needs). Based on the subdivision of the five categories of functions above, the five carriers of positioning, boundary, space, planting and theme are further formed. Through the synergistic design of the five carriers, the synergistic mechanism of pocket parks is incorporated into specific to elaborate on the implementation mode of the synergistic design of pocket parks, which can help give full play to the overall benefits of multiple pocket parks to ensure that different user groups have equal access to urban public services.
Conclusion In this research, the object is further refined into a collection of internal components of pocket parks, representing the transition from macro synergistic planning to micro synergistic design. The research figures out that, by deconstructing and reorganizing design elements, we can accurately trace the internal relationships between park sites, so as to avoid design problems such as duplicate design or functional redundancy. With a focus on the construction of synergistic design perspective, the current research discusses the optimization mode of the existing design strategies for pocket parks under the guidance of synergy theory. The follow-up research will construct a collaborative design process model based on the synergy theory, evaluate the practical application effect of the built pocket parks, and quantitatively evaluate the interrelationship between different components within the pocket parks. This research further refines and improves the principle and application mode of synergistic design, in hope of providing important support for the construction of a scientific and reasonable micro-design strategy for pocket parks.