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Public Space and the New Urban Agenda


Cities that improve the quality of life for their citizens experience higher levels of prosperity; they are also likely to find themselves more advanced in terms of sustainability. Such cities strive towards social equity and gender equality by increasing access to the urban commons and public good, preventing private appropriation and expanding the scope for improved quality of life for all. Cities that have a strong notion of the ‘public’ demonstrate a commitment to an improved quality of life for their citizens by providing adequate street space, green areas, parks, recreation facilities and other public spaces.
Public spaces are a vital ingredient of successful cities. They help build a sense of community, civic identity and culture. Public spaces facilitate social capital, economic development and community revitalisation. The liveliness and continuous use of public space as a public good leads to urban environments that are well maintained, healthy and safe, making the city an attractive place in which to live and work.

Pages:5 to 10
Section: Editorial
How to Cite
Andersson, C. (2016) “Public Space and the New Urban Agenda”, The Journal of Public Space, 1(1), pp. 5-10. doi:
Article Keywords:

Author Biography

UN Habitat. Programme on Public Space. Urban Planning & Design Branch
Kenya Kenya

Cecilia Andersson, an urban and regional planner, is currently the Manager of the Global Public Space Programme of UN-Habitat which supports cities in developing public space and city-wide strategies/policies that ensure safe, socially inclusive, and accessible urban public space. Prior, she worked with the Safer Cities Programme of UN-Habitat, providing technical support and developing prevention strategies to cities in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe.

Open Access Journal
ISSN 2206-9658