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How to explore public spaces?

One of the main joys of exploring a city is to go to its public spaces be it parks, botanical gardens or just city streets and boulevards, you can get a sense of relief from exploring a new city and being a part of the public realm. If you want to be interested in a city’s public spaces, then you won’t get much from reading about it but you have to go out and explore it for yourself for you to get a personal feeling of the space and enjoy the public life. One of the main places I see in India where people gather are malls and around big buildings and parks which have a large number of public access and regular visits. This article will give you some tips on how to explore public spaces:

Exploring Spaces

Go out and enjoy the weather: Going out doesn’t mean just staying there for 5 mins, it means to make an outing in the public space. You can go with friends or family or meet new people on the way. You need to spend at least half an hour to one hour in the public space to really enjoy it. If you go to a beach or a park, you are going there for a reason and you will stay there for a long time. You need to get a feel for space and understand the ambiance and culture of the space. You also need to decide if space resonates with you and gives you a good feeling about being there. This mostly includes feeling safe and friendly in the public space.

Related: 5 Must Read Books on Public Spaces

Analyse the space: You need to see if space is a good space and whether you like being there. If you don’t then you should not go there or you need to take action to improve the space to make it better. Many regenerated public spaces are done this way. There has been lots of research on good public spaces and although there are very few in India, there are some good ones which will help you feel safe and happy in the public space. Look around you, see what kind of people are there and see what amenities the public spaces provide such as playgrounds or cafes or rose gardens that make it more appealing than a general public space

Meeting new people

Use your senses to make your experience better: Use your senses such as touch, feel, smell and taste when you go to a public space. For instance, walking around the space or using a public space to do your daily walk will help you become more acquainted with space. Try talking with people or smiling at people you meet regularly and try to build new relationships as you encounter new people in the public space. There are many opportunities waiting for you if you use your senses!

Observe and use the amenities provided: Usually, public spaces such as botanical gardens provide many facilities that you can make use of. This will help you become more familiar with the public space and help you understand the surroundings and people who use the space. If there are playgrounds, for instance, take your child to play there and she/he will make new friends to play within the public space. Such encounters become meaningful and after some time gives a sense of place where people will gain meanings from being surrounded by other people in the public space.

The above are just a few tips for making the most of your city’s public spaces. What your city has to offer is very important and public life gives more meaning and a better sense of relationship when you visit regularly. There are also many advantages of going regularly as you can relax in the space and get away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city life and traffic. Taking people you know or going regularly with friends and family will also help you become used to the public space

Also Read: 5 Tips to Revive Public Spaces