City requirements change over time and this wear

City growth has developed at an unprecedented rate since the 18th Century and with the rapid integration of technology, urban design and city planning have struggled to keep up. Most cities within the developing and developed worlds have witnessed lateral growth at an explosive rate and urban sprawl is now a recognised issue for urban areas. 
Theoretically perfect cities have a careful balance between buildings, people and open space, but with land prices soaring, urgent needs for housing, and the rise and fall of current industry and conflicting planning policy, land is being used, discarded and lost. Cities are growing around voids of unusable space and people are lacking inherently ‘good’ space, resulting in unhappy residents and a global issue of unhappy cities. 
A city is not a city without the buildings, however, the areas between are arguably more important within the makeup of a city than the building blocks themselves. Landscape architecture has gradually come into prominence in the last fifty years, and into the forefront of urban designers and strategists’ thinking. The spatial framework is a rigid and pre-determined factor of cities, however, urban mid-space can be fluid, adaptive and versatile. This adaptability is an exciting element in future city design, re-meshing what is currently there, and allowing the city to develop whilst not spreading laterally. Urban space requirements change over time and this wear has created weak areas of city fabric. Strengthening urban space, connections and linkages citywide allows there to be a more even use of city space and wider range of quality spaces. It it is important to note that managing this even spread of usage has not yet been succeeded. 
Through the comparison of a range of open public spaces in Manchester, user occupation habits within these spaces and urban design theory, this dissertation will be investigating what determines value within urban spaces, and how this can be quantified for application to poor spaces within cities, combatting the current problems of underused spaces, urban sprawl, poor management and unhappy cities.