We are met by them every day. Public spaces such as sidewalks, public squares, parks, and green spaces make up an essential part of our everyday lives. We cannot imagine a life without them, yet, we give little thought to just how crucial they are.
These spaces do not only act as practical measures. In fact, the impact public spaces have on us is much bigger than we might expect. A public space such as a green park can support recreational physical activity – it can provide us with access to nature and greenery. The green park and all other public spaces are part of the overall vision, being the liveable city.
When well-designed and well-thought-out, public spaces allow for healthy public life, they invite to social interactions at bus stops, in parks, at street fairs, and urban plazas. They give us the opportunity to attend concerts, to interact, to meet each other. They make it possible for us to enjoy life.
The good public spaces don’t build themselves and don’t happen in a vacuum. The report Inclusive Healthy Spaces by Gehl Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Fondation (RWJF) suggests how a successful public space needs to be planned, created, refreshed and promoted, intentionally with the involvement of an engaged community.
We still see public spaces continue to be planned and designed without considering all users or without taking into consideration the importance of the different levels of well-being. This is a circumstance that we as a society have the possibility to change.
All public spaces (big and small) require consideration and long-term solutions. This way we will be able to experience liveability in our everyday lives – now and for future generations.
Read the report here.