What is public space? Public space refers to an area or place that is open and accessible to all people, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age or socio-economic level.
What should we have in public space? We believe that Public spaces need to be designed in a way that promotes and encourages physical activity, so people can be active, healthy and not be restricted to just sitting and walking around the area. Our youth espically, dont want Public Spaces with benches and maybe some slides for kids. They want to see places setup in a way which allows them to express themesleves, be active, learn and socilize with others.
Lets take the Qui Si-Sana Gardens in Sliema as an example, one can clearly see that much has been invested in this Garden as it is very well setup. Especially if you compare it to how it was before, but what are we missing? Yes adults can bring their kids to this garden and play with them on the swings for a few hours, or let them play with other kids while they over look from the benches. But what about the youth who are lets say between 10 and 18 years of age? who are probably one of the heaviest users of public space. how are they supposed to pass their time in a healthy and positive way? This space does not cater for that at all. In fact, since the out break of COVID-19, this place has been turned into an outdoor gym due to all gyms being closed. People are using the metal frames as equipment to perform physical activity and it is a clear indicator that we must change the way we create our open spaces.
We need to re-evalutate on how we look at public space and move towards creating spaces for all ages to enjoy! Especially our youth as they are the most that need it! We need to give them a reason not to stay stuck at home on their game consoles and pc’s!
Above are the type of public spaces we need to create here in Malta, with an understanding of what our youth want to see setup in these spaces. Parents too would be happy to know that there are areas like the above for themselves and their kids to enjoy.
In order to create such spaces, it is needed to identify the most actual trends in sport and recreation. Research is showing that in Europe and in Malta, the most popular activities are swimming, biking, team sports like football and basketball and group exercise like cross fit etc. In many public spaces we can most frequently encounter joggers, inline skaters, skateboarders, walkers and as well as kids with BMXes and kick scooters. But unfortunately we dont not have the facilities and design to cater for these users.
Most of the sports and activities like Cross Fit, BMX, Skateboarding, Scooter, Inline etc fall under Street Sport. The best thing about street sport is that many of the sports are individual sports and do not require much space and guidance/attention for a person to practice at their own time. Something that fits very well with the busy lifestyle everyone has.
This is where we come in!
We are working hard to educate policy makers on the importance of creating these public spaces! Below is an perfect example of a small space that would cater for many youths, with the addition of a outdoor gym and running track around the area. Adults and Seniors can also enjoy this space.
Join us in our journey of creating such spaces! Follow us on Facebook and Instgram and stay in touch. Change is coming! and if you know of any public space that could do with an upgrade to cather for such use! Get in touch with us, We are here to help!