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Public space & health, well-being and safer cities

  • Improve citizen health and well-being through spaces that can be used for sports and recreational activities.
  • Contribute to the physical activity of children and young people, and to sustainable family life, in particular in green open spaces.
  • Make cities safer, with lower rates of crime and violence. Community ownership and appropriate design of public spaces, including urban furniture, in consultation with inhabitants, especially women, children and youth, can contribute to building safer urban areas. The design has an important role to play but to make cities safer it has to be combined to maintenance and place keeping.

-EXAMPLE: Government program to rescue and improve public spaces, Mexico

Since 2007, SEDESOL, the Mexican Ministry of Social Development, has “rescued” 42,000 public spaces across the country by promoting the realization of social actions and the execu­tion of physical works to restore community meeting places, social interaction, and everyday recreation in insecure and marginalized urban areas. The goals of the Rescue of Public Spaces program are to help improve the quality of life and safety through the revitalization of public spaces in cities and metropolitan areas across Mexico, thereby promoting healthy living.  This program is a notable illustration of articulation between the national government, the active participation of local community members and the support and guidance of local authorities. (More information here)


EXAMPLE: Public Market Research with the Ford and W.K Kellogg Foundations and Project for Public Spaces 

In collaboration with the Ford and the W.K Kelogg Foundations, the Project for Public Space initiated in 2002 a national funding program around public markets and farmers in low and moderate-income communities. Forty markets in 22 states were awarded funding and their efforts showed that through small amounts of funding markets could boost the sustainability of vendors and management, resulting in increased market sales and higher market operating revenue. They all support the idea that public markets diversify their vendor and customer base, support youth development projects, provide increased access to healthy food and serve as transformational places for their communities to gather. (Find the reference and more information here)