Public Spaces for Community Resilience: An Empirical Study of Social and Spatial Factors

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a conference


The ongoing rise of habitation in cities and the growing inequality puts pressure on the quality of the social environment. Therefore, the societal role and the quality of public space are more important than ever. Public spaces are a critical asset for cities that play a vital role in the social life of communities. Meanwhile, under the broad concept of resilience and in response to local challenges that directly affect people and communities, community resilience is receiving attention. The proposed study will focus on the relationship between public space and community resilience through the empirical research of a practice which works on a variety of scale levels in the city of Rotterdam, one of the 100 Resilient Cities network. This study is grounded in the constructed framework for studying community resilience based on three interrelated elements that are highlighted within the multidisciplinary literature on this topic: community networks, people-place connections, and community infrastructure. To get a more comprehensive understanding of public space and its influence on community resilience, an interdisciplinary approach to the topic is taken. Understanding public space in all its manifestations has the potential to blur the disciplinary distinctions and inspire new ways of thinking that go beyond dichotomies. With allying social science and spatial design, this study emphasises understanding space as a place for communities or a multitude of people, also the relationship between the physical and social environment and the experience. Observations and interviews are the main data collection methods that are particularly applicable for understanding the interrelation between spatial conditions and social connections. The aim of observation is to describe the characteristics of a place and identify how communities use, appropriate, and experience such a public space.
Period23 Jun 2023
Event titleEURA 2023 The European City: A Practice of Resilience in the Face of an Uncertain Future
Event typeConference
LocationReykjavík, IcelandShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • public space
  • Public Space
  • community resilience
  • resilience
  • community networks
  • people-place connections
  • community infrastructure
  • social science
  • urban design
  • Urban Design