Public spaces refer to places or areas that are open and accessible to all citizens, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age or socio-economic level. They include commonly recognized places, such as parks, squares, and plazas, and also encompass streets and roads that provide for pedestrian access and commercial places, such as markets.
Quality public spaces are excellent entry points to improve the standards of urban life for all citizens. They are a symbol of important aspects of a city, such as safety, health, and the local economy.
As the stage for urban life; our journey to work, our coffee spot and our recreation space, better quality civic space is essential to satisfaction with urban life. All too often however, poor quality and ill-maintained public space reflects physical, economic and social deprivation and encourages a spiral of decline. This paper considers ‘quality’ public space as that which provides connectivity and physical access, protection from crime, shelter from climate, seclusion from traffic, opportunity to rest, opportunity to work and the occasion to congregate.