the facts and importance of public space

“Successful public spaces have been essential parts of our cities and communities for centuries. It is there where we hold celebrations, where social interactions take place, where we find and gather with our friends, where we exchange ideas, where we express ourselves, where we rest and observe, and where we find the public institutions of cities. Carrying out those activities in a public space is beneficial to the quality of life in a city that can make many of us anonymous. Traditionally, public space has combined many of the aforementioned elements in such a way that it becomes a magnet for city dwellers.”

(Ortiz, 2012)

“the design of the public space is intended to encourage people to be more sociable again. People are more sociable however there are less environments designed specifically for people to be social in”

(Smith, 2015)


Does social media create isolation or unity?

There isn’t a straight answer that I have found to answer this question. It is a very subjective topic and down to personal opinion. From a journal by Metaxia Markaki (urban design) and Spyridon Ampanavos (tech, Athens). I have found both pros and cons of using technology within the urban realm.

“social media ultimately is what you bring to it, rather than something that has a definite use value”

Pros and Cons of technology:


  • it provides a platform for people to connect instantly and socialise, keep in contact with one another.
  • American students have managed to link digital activities with face to face interactions.
  • Being connected can provide a stronger sense of community in ones local area…these may be support groups, accessibility.


  • Deprivation of human interaction
  • Social networks only provide the illusion of companionship- without the given experience of quality interactions
  • Creates an artificial perspective of others as well as the environment they may find themselves in.
  • In considering Facebook (the most common use of phones in these spaces)is passive by many. This correlates to a marginal increase in depression.
  • We ignore people we are with for the online substitute.

“feelings of loneliness are exacerbated by being online (connected) too much with people more willing to experience a sense of isolation if they feel that others around them are enjoying themselves more”