Legacy Gardens: Segregation of the Student and the Public
The presence of public space in a city is integral to the development of its citizens. Individuals can find themselves disconnected from their community when there are no areas in the city to intermingle. In “Brave New Neighborhoods,” Margaret Kohn describes a public space as “a place that is owned by the government, accessible to everyone without restriction, and/or fosters communication and interaction” (11). Legacy Gardens is a public space located at the back entrance of Douglas College in New Westminster, or otherwise known as New West. It is common to see students using the space to study, chat with friends, or take a smoke-break; however, the space is not inviting to the general public of New West. Legacy Gardens helps Douglas College students grow as a community, however, prevents the students from expanding their community to the general public.
A space must attract the public so that it will be used. Project for Public Spaces, or PPS, states in their article “What Makes a Successful Public Space?” that the success of a space depends on “[w]hether [it] is comfortable and presents itself well . . .”. Legacy Gardens is an attractive environment for the use of students. The space is presented in a professional manner; it is adjacent to the college, and contains organized, square features such as the seating blocks and planters. The large fountain creates ambient noise, which is relaxing for the stressed student or staff member. The professional atmosphere of this area provides a calm, focused environment, and is, therefore, inviting to students. Legacy Gardens is also a comfortable place for students to relax. In “What Makes a Successful Public Space?” PPS goes on to say, “[c]omfort includes perceptions about safety, cleanliness, and the availability of places to sit . . .”. Safety and cleanliness is maintained by Douglas College’s security and maintenance services. Garbage cans are also...
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