A materials engineering paper published on IOP Science stated that public spaces play a “formative and a socially active role” in a city’s overall structure. So, without preserving or improving them, they may transmit a sense of insecurity within the community.
Proper planning of a public space should be standard. After all, they have a significant impact on people’s daily experiences and lifestyles in the city. When designed strategically, they will fill the urban gaps with life.
The benefits go both ways. The safer people feel in a public space, the more likely it is that they’ll use it. Meanwhile, the more people who populate a public space, the safer the environment becomes.
In this post, we will discuss how you can create a people-oriented city by improving public spaces.
Diversify the Uses of Public Spaces
You can create a people-friendly and safe environment when you blend residential areas with commercial and office areas. This means adding restaurants, bars, local commerce, and cafes near condominium complexes or apartments to attract people.
When public areas have diverse uses, you’re creating activities that contribute to improving safety. With more people on the street, crime will likely start to decline.
However, you need to ensure that the diversity of uses can cover all times of the day. Let’s say you manage to make a public space inviting and busy during the daytime. If you don’t do the same for the evenings, the area will become an unsafe place. So, plan the design accordingly to encourage the permanence and co-existence of people in the area.
Install Proper Lighting and Furniture
By installing light poles and street furniture, you’re efficiently creating public spaces that will encourage occupancy during the day and night. Fit them near pedestrian and cycling areas, and you’ll encourage more foot traffic and biking around the city.
Create Visually Appealing Facades
When a building’s ground level flows smoothly along the design of the street and sidewalk, you can achieve improved safety and attractiveness in the area. By creating visually appealing public spaces, you are inviting people to use the area more often.
A University of Toronto study revealed that the design of streets affects how pedestrians perceive the attractiveness of a public space. Depending on how interesting the sidewalks and streets areas are will also determine how much people use them. So, make sure you install street furnishings wherever possible.
Create Public Spaces that Encourage Interaction among People
Public spaces naturally aggregate people. So, they have a direct influence over socialisation in cities. To stimulate interaction between people and the environment, you’ll need accessible streets, parks, squares, sidewalks and urban furniture. This way, you can increase the vitality of the area and generate a positive use of public spaces.
You can focus on high-density areas in the city. However, don’t forget to create quality public areas for people living away from the city centre too.
Have Walkable Businesses
When there are cafes, shops, and business establishments around public spaces, you can offer leisurely activities to people. Of course, the benefits stretch far beyond the people living in the area. You can also potentially boost the local economy. With attractive and safe public spaces, you can encourage cycling and walking. Consequently, people will easily access local commerce and contribute to the economy.
Plan Public Spaces for Small Businesses
Indeed, large businesses, like chain restaurants and supermarkets, can generally contribute to the economy. However, they may not blend well with the overall vibe of a particular neighbourhood. So, you should plan the public space for the smaller businesses that characterise the area.
Small ventures provide long-term, significant impacts on the livelihood of an area. What’s more, they add to the identity and personality of a place. As such, consider the cultural qualities and social dynamics of the neighbourhood when planning a public space. This way, you can create a strong connection between the area and the people frequenting it.
Create “Shared Spaces”
When designing public areas, you should follow the principles of “shared spaces” or “complete streets”. This concept involves designing streets that will ensure the safe use and mobility of all users—pedestrians, drivers, cyclists and commuters. Among the elements that make up a complete street include bicycle infrastructure, street furniture, quality sidewalks and proper signage.
Have Green Public Spaces
We all know how green spaces can improve air quality and ease high temperatures during the summer. However, they also have the power to make cities more people-oriented. With public areas lined with greenery, you can encourage more people to engage in outdoor activities.
Over the years, cities have become denser and denser. With urban forestation, you can lower stress levels and improve the overall wellbeing of cities. Besides, plants, trees and flower beds can contribute to biodiversity maintenance and urban drainage.
Let the Residents Participate in the Design Phase
If you want to maintain the quality of a public area, you need to involve the residents in the planning and designing process. A public space will have a unique meaning and use for a specific community and neighbourhood. So, by getting feedback from the people, you’re ensuring that they’ll have a public place that can meet their distinct needs.
Without getting the residents involved, the space will not reflect the desires and demands of the local population. As a result, it will not be maintained or used by the people. When creating equitable and safer public areas, remember that social participation is a crucial element.
Create People-Oriented Public Spaces with the Help of Cox Urban Furniture
New policies, alternative transportation options and emerging technologies continue to reconfigure the way we live in cities. With the ever-dynamic needs of the community, you’ll need help in designing people-oriented public spaces.
When you contact Cox Urban Furniture, you can get expert advice on how to encourage people to interact with the environment. We’ll provide park and street furniture that will enhance the functionality and attractiveness of a place. Trust that our contemporary solutions will encourage the community to engage in outdoor activities.
Call Cox Urban Furniture today to enquire about high-quality street furniture!