Young people, public space and new urbanism
The first of three articles in this issue addressing the public space topic considers public space and young people in the light of a range of papers delivered at the 27th International Conference on 'Making Cities Livable', held in Vienna, Austria, in July 2000. Under the overarching concept of the "liveable city" the conference themes of 'Rediscovery of public space' and 'Cities for the wellbeing of children' attracted a broad mix of those interested in the planning, design and management of urban space. A number of themes percolated through the conference which stimulated the writers to examine the nexus between urban development, young people and public space.
There is an ongoing need to examine the meaning of public space in the face of powerful urban development trends. A model of public space practice is required which incorporates a vision of inclusive public spaces, fosters the interactivity of design, planning, social policy and management, and resources for greater communication and strategic action between stake holders from the most local of levels to those at state and international levels.
The speed and magnitude of contemporary urban development makes community input and influence difficult, particularly for those impacted on by the exclusionary tendencies of much urban development. It is critical that a range of meaningful and sustainable mechanisms are developed which allow young people’s conceptions of what constitutes youth-friendly space to be directly made and taken account of.
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