"High-quality public spaces encourage people to communicate and collaborate with each other, and to participate in public life. Public spaces can also provide basic services, enhance connectivity, spawn economic activity and raise property values while generating municipal revenue."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
2015 Theme: Public Spaces for All.
In Resolution 40/202 of 17 December 1985, the UN General Assembly designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day.
This year, the United Nations chose the theme Public Spaces for All.
This year, the United Nations chose the theme ‘Public Spaces for All’ The World Habitat Day 2015 campaign aims to recognize the challenges and issues around Public Spaces.
The streets and public spaces have often been overlooked and undervalued, but are increasingly being considered the backbone of cities. Public spaces are places which are accessible and enjoyable by all without a profit motive and take on various spatial forms, including parks, streets, sidewalks, markets and playgrounds.
Good public spaces enhance community cohesion and promote health, happiness, and well-being for all citizens as well as fostering investment, economic development and environmental sustainability.
Well designed and managed public spaces and streets are a key asset for a city’s livability and economy:
- Increases property values
- Multiplies retail activity
- Enhances safety
- Fosters social cohesion and equality
- Improves health and well-being
- Improves the environment
- Makes the city more attractive
- Promotes more effective and efficient transportation and mobility
The Sustainable Development Goals highlight Public Spaces as a key and important topic. “Sustainable Development Goals, (Goal 11 Target 7 – By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities).”