The Possibility of Qualifying the Courtyards of Religious Buildings as Open Public Spaces: a Case Study of the City of Brčko
Open public spaces are those parts of an urban morphology that make the city whole. These spaces essentially represent integral parts of the city's urban structure, and as such, they are always in the process of change and transformation. With the rapid expansion of cities in recent years, the planning and development of open public spaces in many cities and states have been neglected. At the same time, more and more attention is on the construction of new residential and commercial buildings.
... herefore, it is important to find an open space in an already built urban space that has the potential to become a new open public space, such as inner courtyards of residential buildings or courtyards of religious complexes. Although they are open spaces, the courtyards of religious complexes are not considered public space. Religion, and therefore the religious complexes, has a significant role in people's lives, and their role has changed during the turbulent era of war and afterwards. Nowadays, religious communities mostly use the courtyards for their own needs, without users' ability to satisfy their needs for socializing, creating new social relationships, and recreational activities. Due to the characteristics of other public spaces, these courtyards potentially represent ideal parts of the urban structure that can become a new open public space in the city. Also, the advantage of these open spaces around religious complexes is that they already have urban landscape elements. Using the criteria for determining the quality of open public spaces, equipment, availability, and other spatial characteristics it is possible to decide whether the courtyards of religious complexes can meet users' needs. The territory of the city of Brčko was chosen for the case study because there is a large number of religious complexes that belong to different religious communities and which differ from each other in their internal structure. By analyzing the courtyards of religious complexes, with the help of the criteria for determining [...]