I agree with Lios’ opinion that the public space design should be one of the key elements for neighborhood design. The quality of outdoor spaces will influence the alternatives of social activities.
In Jan Gehl’s book ‘life between buildings’ (2011), three types of outdoor activities have been pointed out: necessary activities, optional activities and social activities. If the quality of the physical environment is poor, there are less optional activities and social activities. However, if the quality of physical environment is good, there are more optional activities and enough social activities.
How to judge the quality of public spaces? The answer is good places for walking, staying, hearing and talking. Walking needs space, it is necessary to be able to walk freely and easy to go to everywhere. Moreover, a good place for staying is also basic needs for residents. It is the premise for social activities happened. Lastly, the public spaces also need interactive spaces, which the communication will happen.
Gehl, J. (2011) life between buildings. Island Press, London.