Public Spaces: Connecting Communities & Inspiring Minds

Public spaces are vibrant arenas where communities thrive and define themselves, influencing our understanding and experience of urban life. Though a city has its essence, it is in the public spaces that the threads of the city are woven. This makes it necessary that planning and maintaining these spaces should not be an afterthought but rather an integral part of the urban design program. Like chapters in a book, these spaces reveal the secrets of city life. Public spaces, like the veins and arteries of the city, bring the spaces between buildings to life and shape the city’s character. They’re where people meet and interact, weaving together the complex relationships that make up a city. In this article called Public Spaces, let us together unfold the various aspects of important communal territories that permanently imprint our daily lives in town centres.

What is Public Space?

Public Spaces
Image Credits:

Public spaces in Indian cities are busy streets that bring people together, boost the economy, and showcase culture. Urban planning and design create and manage these multifunctional spaces, which give people a sense of place and community. Safety and security are very important, along with water, electricity, and internet access. But for such efforts to succeed, they must also focus on the well-being and architecture of public spaces. With strong governance rules and good management systems, public spaces thrive.

Public Spaces
Image Credits:

In India’s diverse urban landscapes, an ideal city fosters unity and a sense of community. By involving its citizens, from planning to maintaining public spaces, it harnesses the power of collective involvement. Public areas become platforms, where individual needs align with the shared goal of creating, preserving, and enjoying communal spaces. Their understanding of community dynamics adds depth and authenticity to urban design. In India, the journey towards exceptional cities involves the participation of everyone. By working collectively, we create cities that reflect the spirit and diversity of our nation.

Public Spaces in India – Traditional and Contemporary. How do they vary across zones in India?

India’s public spaces reflect its cultural diversity, social cohesion, and urban dynamics. Traditional places include the centuries-old bazaars and bazaars of Indian cities. These places make it easy to socialise, experience local culture, and shop. Religious places, such as mosques and churches, are also important public spaces, hosting meetings and events. Street corners and plazas serve as informal meeting places, while community halls and panchayat houses in rural areas become important public spaces for meetings, cultural activities, and discussion of local concerns. India’s contemporary public spaces are diverse and shaped by geography, tradition, and history.

Image Credits:

North India has ancient ruins such as forts and palaces, and it affects public spaces. Modern cities like Delhi and Jaipur are dotted with parks, markets, and shopping malls. South India showcases historic temples and landscapes, while cities like Bangalore, Chennai, and Hyderabad combine traditional features with modern parks, shopping, and industrial areas.

Public Spaces
Image Credits:

East India possesses a vibrant cultural legacy, where religious sites serve as the heart of many public spaces. Metropolitan areas like Mumbai, Pune, and Ahmedabad offer contemporary spaces such as shopping malls, promenades, and recreation parks. Central India boasts rich historical sites, including the Khajuraho Temples and Sanchi Stupa. While diverse, these spaces emphasise both preserving tradition and incorporating modern elements into their design.

Case Study of Public Space in India

1. Multi-functional Street: Manek Chowk, Ahmedabad

Image Credits:

Manek Chowk is a bustling marketplace in Ahmedabad’s old city. It’s a blend of old and new urban planning, with famous monuments nearby. It hosts a diverse array of both structured and spontaneous commercial endeavours, deeply intertwined with religious and cultural significance, all contributing to a bustling public sphere teeming with vitality. During the day, it’s full of people buying and selling things like crafts and jewellery. But it can also be challenging, as it is hard for people to walk around.

Public Spaces
Image Credits:

At nightfall, Manek Chowk transforms into a lively nightlife destination, boasting vibrant food stalls and a friendly ambience that reflects its enduring role as a cultural gathering place. Despite its compact size, Manek Chowk catalyses social interactions and community connections. Its strategic location near businesses and landmarks further emphasises its importance as a central hub. However, challenges such as heavy traffic and limited space pose a risk to its long-term charm. Nonetheless, Manek Chowk remains a vibrant public space of traditional urban spaces, constantly adapting to the evolving needs of its people.

2. One Green Mile

Image Credits:

Mumbai’s Senapati Bapat Marg flyover has undergone a renewal led by MVDRV and StudioPOD, transforming the neglected 200-metre Parel Baug area beneath. This transformation includes building lounges, fitness facilities, and performance spaces to foster community involvement and mitigate noise. The space has been divided into specific zones, integrating greenery to enhance biodiversity and create a cooler environment.

Public Spaces
Image Credits:

The project focuses on making the area accessible for pedestrians and cyclists by improving paths and safety measures. It uses a circular economy approach, transforming the area under the flyover into a valuable space with sustainable features like water filtration systems for watering plants. This project is an example of how to create welcoming and eco-friendly public spaces in cities, and it could be used elsewhere in the city. Plans for the future include redesigning the entire length of the highway to improve connections and make the urban area more appealing.

10 Tips On How To Design A Public Space Or Preserve One

1. Community Engagement

Engage the community early in the design phase to gather their input. This ensures the design aligns with their values and serves their planned purpose effectively. By understanding their needs, desires, and concerns, the space can be tailored to meet their unique requirements and enhance its impact on the community.

2. Functionality

Design a space with a clear purpose that serves its intended use. Consider how people will use the space, whether it’s for fun, socializing, unwinding, or cultural events where the design meets their essentials smoothly.

3. Cultural Sensitivity

To show respect for the community’s cultural roots and personality, make public spaces designed or preserved in a way that honours these things. Include things from the area’s culture, history, and art in the design to make people feel more connected to where they live and create a stronger sense of community.

4. Accessibility

Make the space inclusive by ensuring it’s accessible to people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. Include features like ramps, elevators, wider hallways, and plenty of seating for easy access and comfort for people with disabilities and older adults.

5. Sustainability

Create an environmentally friendly space with sustainable design ideas. This will help reduce its impact on the planet and lower maintenance costs over time. Use materials that are good for the environment, and add green features like rain gardens and walkways that let water through.

6. Safety and Security

Prioritise the establishment of a secure and safe setting to create a hospitable environment for everyone. Implement essential precautions to ensure safety, such as providing adequate lighting, Installing surveillance systems, Establishing emergency communication points and displaying clear directional signs Ensure that pathways and landscaping promote visibility and limit concealed areas that contribute to the prevailing sense of safety.

7. Flexibility

Design the public space to be versatile and suitable for various activities throughout the year. Use elements like rearrangeable furniture, modular structures, and flexible zoning that allow the space to adapt to changing needs and preferences.

8. Natural Elements

Incorporate nature into your design to improve both its visual appeal and ecological balance. Trees, plants, water features, and sustainable materials create a stunning aesthetic while providing shade and promoting biodiversity.

9. Placemaking

Connect, Introduce public art that sparks conversation and fosters interaction, and provide amenities that make these spaces comfortable and inviting.

10. Adaptability and Maintenance

Create a flexible and functional public space that can easily adapt to changing needs. Choose durable materials that can withstand heavy use and outdoor conditions, and establish a maintenance plan to keep the space clean, safe, and visually appealing for years to come.


This article explores the many aspects of public spaces, highlighting the essential feature of their access to all. It highlights how this nuanced definition impacts urban planning and management, guiding the design of lively and accessible public spaces that foster urban life.

By examining theories and real-life examples, it defines four main aspects of public spaces: who owns them, who can use them, how they’re run, and how they encourage everyone to feel welcome. These aspects help us understand the varied benefits and roles of urban public spaces. This understanding aims to reconcile the various perspectives on urban public spaces.

Content Writing And Research By: Ar. Priyanshi Shah

Walk-in wardrobe design: Where Fashion Finds Its Home

A well-organized walk-in wardrobe design is important for maintaining an efficient and visually appealing storage space, especially in Indian homes. In India, where space is limited, a walk-in wardrobe allows for optimal space utilization and customization that allows for the proper arrangement of clothing and accessories, ensuring that every item has its designated place. A […]

Read More

20 Types of Door Handles for a Stylish Home Upgrade

Types of door handles play a pivotal role in both functionality and aesthetics, offering diverse options to complement various architectural styles and personal preferences. Understanding the plethora of choices can help in selecting the perfect door handle for any space. From traditional lever handles to modern electronic ones, the market boasts an array of designs […]

Read More

50 Exceptional Baluster Design Ideas Suitable For Indian Homes

Baluster design plays a crucial role in architectural aesthetics, particularly in structures like staircases, balconies, and railings. These vertical supports not only provide structural integrity but also contribute significantly to the overall visual appeal of a building or space. Baluster design also vary widely, ranging from simple and utilitarian to intricate and ornate, reflecting different […]

Read More

How School Building Design is Changing in the 21st Century

The 21st century has ushered in significant transformations in the design of school buildings, reflecting shifts in educational philosophies, technological advancements, and societal values towards sustainability and inclusivity. This evolution in design is not merely aesthetic but represents a profound rethinking of the role physical environments play in education. Gone are the days of stuffy […]

Read More

Kitchen Design Mistakes to Avoid for a Functional and Stylish Space

In kitchen design, functionality and practicality are everything. Design and aesthetics are secondary, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t have a kitchen that’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing.  Calling a kitchen remodel company is ideal before starting your kitchen renovation project, as they can provide valuable insight on how to successfully redesign your kitchen. […]

Read More

10 Captivating Wall Texture and Colour Combinations for Indian Homes

Texture and Colour are powerful tools for creating a unique and functional space. They not only enhance the aesthetic appeal but also create an ambience that resonates with style and purpose. These textures and colours can be sleek and modern or rustic and inviting, allowing you to infuse your personality into the walls. They serve […]

Read More

Elevate Your Car Parking Design For Homes

The evolution of car parking design for homes in residential architecture influences plenty of factors such as urbanization, technological advancements, environmental concerns, and changing lifestyle preferences. Early architecture did not consider car parking design for homes, but the rise of automobiles in the early 20th century led to the incorporation of garages or carports. Post-World […]

Read More

Wardrobe Interior Ideas: 13 Guidelines To Select For Your Bedroom

Wardrobe interior ideas are where functionality meets style and organization, intertwined with creativity. It is about a treasure trove of wardrobe interior ideas that transcend mere storage solutions. Your wardrobe isn’t just a repository for clothing; it’s a curated space where daily rituals unfold and personal style finds its expression. From clever storage hacks and […]

Read More

15 Types of Wardrobe That Adds Extra Space In The House

A wardrobe is not just a piece of furniture constructed in the house. There are types of wardrobe one builds in the house according to their needs and requirements. Choosing the right type of wardrobe can be a critical task at times. While designing the house, one always thinks about the kind of storage space […]

Read More

Furniture for Small Spaces: 15 Ways to Decorate Compact Homes

Compact homes and furniture for small spaces have become today’s trends in designing a home. However, affordability is not the only reason for choosing a compact house with furniture for small spaces. They are also easy to maintain and reflect simplicity in daily life. For furniture for small spaces, their ideas and designs are more […]

Read More
  • Walk-in wardrobe design: Where Fashion Finds Its Home

    Home Translates Via A Neoclassical Style And Is A Melting Pot Of Details | AKG Design Studio