Just because you build it doesn’t mean people will use it.
In many older cities in the world, you’ll see a variety of places where people gather for socialization, community, and enjoyment.
But when you visit American parks and public squares, they’re often empty or underutilized. Why is this? How do we fix it?
There’s a plethora of literature on this topic. Urban design courses focus on observing how people utilize spaces and how to implement design to achieve desired behaviors.
Sidewalk Labs gives a great overview on this subject. It’s titled: Why Europe’s Parks and Playgrounds are so much more active than America.
This CityLab article addresses ways to improve public parks.
(We will be expanding this section in the days to come).