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In Voca’s blog, she analysed the five-star public space. The author discussed the evaluation criteria of the five dimensions of public areas and conclude with concerns about the simplification or closure of today’s public spaces. I agree with her point of view and would like to discuss the possible harm which might cause by such a problem in the future.

Social value:

As we all know, public realm can create a high social value, this value is largely due to the formation of diversification. For instance, diverse cultures, religious beliefs, careers, gender, age structure, and so on. Once diversification is disrupted, the value what it creates would be had some negative effect. Mean and Tims (2005) state that space would form a shared resource in a variety of public spaces, which is an invisible and self-service public service. In the public space, different experiences are shared and created, and the value is generated in this situation. By contrast, if the groups within a space are single, the experiences created and shared are narrow. As a result, the social values would be impaired.

Public space could also enhance social attachment. It could provide the chance for people to meet and know each other. Furthermore, it provides a space to let people display their culture or simple to be an audience. Therefore, if ‘public’ or ‘space ‘is limited, to some extent, people are actually deprived of the right to choose. More specifically, one can only establish social connections with a single group of people they encounter.

Children raised in such a single social environment are less likely to be sympathetic towards people of other strata and unprepared to enter a pluralistic society (Andres Duany, et al., 2000). When children cannot get experience in their daily environment, the only channel would be television media or virtue public area like Facebook. However,those could not replace the face to face communication.

These are the social values that may be brought about by the simplification or closure of public space. As for how to curb or change the trend of such a single need further study.


Duany, Andres., Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and Jeff Speck, J. (2000). Suburban nation: The rise of sprawl and the decline of the American dream. New York: North Point Press.

Mean, M. and Tims, C. (2005) People make places: Growing the public life of cities. Demos.

Worpole, K. and Knox, K. (2018). The Social Value of Public Space. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundatio, pp.1-3.

School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

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