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The demographics of public space use

How exclusive or inclusive is a public space? Read more from Jose Antonio Lara-Hernandez on the pitfalls that can occur.
Left of frame family with young children, adults sitting and elderly person on mobility scooter on grass with trees and large parkland toward background
© RMIT Europe and EIT Urban Mobility

In physical terms, cities are made up of buildings, movement opportunities and the urban or natural spaces in between these functions. Public spaces are like a ‘glue’ that determines how people experience the life of a city. Different spaces attract and enable different activities and different user groups.

But the success of public spaces in this vital role for cities and towns is not automatic. Often their relative success or failure can be viewed through the lens of equity: How exclusive or inclusive is a public space?

The following Conversation article on public space use in cities by Jose Antonio Lara-Hernandez highlights some of the pitfalls that can occur in public space design or transformation.

After reading the article, think about the factors that:

  • enable an equitable use of public space
  • the factors that threaten it?
© RMIT Europe and EIT Urban Mobility
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