Public space in neighborhood design is very important because it helps to create a sense of community for residents. A neighborhood public space could be a green park, garden, square, street, small shop. It is public realm that focus on improve social interaction with some public activities.

 

The function of public spaces are changed base on the different time and varies day. And the function belong to public spaces are decided by their users and their site. If it is at the corner of neighborhood, it may use for a small group of residential who lives near here. If it is located in the center of neighborhood, it may use for all neighborhood. And the design of those public space will affect their used frequency. So it need to cater for residents.

Public space elements (pps.org, no date)

 

In normal neighborhood design, public spaces always connect to the neighborhood environment both physical and psychological. As physical aspect, for example, is that green space enough in neighborhood. Is that easy to get access to it? For psychological, is that public space suitable for people communicating? Is that public space create a sense of security for resident?

 

In the case of the Saiths, Gateshead, the plot was divided into serval small blocks. Each block has its own public space for activities. And this public space is connected to residents’ private gardens. In this case, who live in the same block will know their neighbors very well. They can communicate in their own public space, and this kind of public spaces have different characters which decided by their residents.

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The saiths, Gateshead
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The saiths, Gateshead

While in cohousing scheme, the public space become more important. Because the core vision of cohousing scheme is to share some basic facilities with others. So it is important to build a common house with integrated functions, a community garden and so on. A common house usually have serval functions, like kitchen, laundry, storage, activity room. On the other hand, it raises sense of community in cohousing scheme than normal neighborhood project. In cohousing, people will feel like a big family.

 

In conclusion, different neighborhood will design different types of public spaces, which might affect the types of neighborhood and the sense of community.

Reference:

Spaces, P. (2016). What Makes a Successful Place? – Project for Public Spaces. [online] Project for Public Spaces. Available at: http://www.pps.org/reference/grplacefeat/ [Accessed 2 Jun. 2016].