Public spaces are where physical and social resilience meet. Looking past levees and seawalls, and even beyond nature-based solutions to climate risks, public space designers and managers have to get people into the picture as we all come to terms with the urban impacts of climate change.
Resilience is a result of connections between people, not a physical feature of a place. So, as we adapt to a changing climate, public spaces are the key to strengthening the community ties that help us bounce back from disaster.
In our cities and towns, there isn’t a more democratic space than our streets and sidewalks. Buildings are exclusive—homes are private, offices are secure, you have to pay to get into the gym or eat at a restaurant. Yet, streets are inclusive, collectively ours, and the very essence of public space, shared by all citizens.
Regardless of how you feel about the 2016 U.S. election results, one thing is clear: public spaces are doing their job.
The people of Paris have spoken and they love their public spaces.
To international media that love dramatic footage, the eruption of protests about the fate of Istanbul’s Taksim Gezi Park – and the government’s violent repression – seems overblown. Tear gas and gunfire over some trees and greenery?
To anyone who’s tired of fighting an uphill battle in arguing for increased density in order to make the case for walkability, Julie Campoli’s new book Made for Walking: Density and Neighborhood Form will seem a god-send.
You are never finished. That is one of PPS’s 11 principles for creating great community places. For anyone working to create a great “third place” in their neighborhood, it is critical to remember that there will never be a time when the work is done. Real-world communities are incredibly dynamic, ever-changing things. A public space cannot be finished any more than the city in which it resides can be. At their best, public spaces are the most tangible reflections of cities and neighborhoods and the people who make them special. They are stages for public life, and should reflect the people who live, work, and play nearby.