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We explore the beneficial impacts social infrastructure is having on us in more detail.
These environments often play a crucial role in the development of our social and economic lives, which is why new kinds of public areas and gathering places are being created in cities and towns, from pocket parks to town squares and pop-up skate parks.
As the population grows, cities expand as people move into them and communities multiply. When people have a place to gather, meet, and play outside, they create new connections. In areas for families – where better formed social spaces are available, more opportunities for social interaction are created.
A key component of developing age-friendly public space is to reduce social isolation among older people and those who are less able to get out. Urban infrastructure here can help foster social cohesion by providing opportunities for neighbours to interact from community and day care centres to simple outdoor seating in town centres, and local markets.
It is especially important to provide social space for young children, where they can make friends, learn about social norms and develop community ties. The exchanging ideas and making friends can be an experience of a busy street, public park, or playground.
Fear of crime can be enhanced when there is community breakdown. As social interaction creates a sense of community among neighbours and locals, they tend to care for one another, such neighbourhood spirit can facilitate a sense of safety in public places and discourage crime.
Listen to Nivedita Vijayan from Jacobs who joined us in The Green Room for a chat on the impact urban design has on our communities.
Our public spaces are enriched by nature and biodiversity in many ways, taking in our simple surroundings, like when sitting on a bench, meeting with friends or reading a book provides a tranquil setting and a haven in urban areas.
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