Public squares, Main Street, and the campus quad have been vital community settings for centuries. They are the places where we convene, reinforcing our social and civic bonds and spurring shared progress. Today, even as virtual connection tempts us to substitute face time with screen time, places like waterfront parks or office cafeterias continue to draw people together to share experiences and create local memories.
Community engagement is central to the design of inclusive spaces. When we unearth and respond to the needs of a broad constituency, we can create the dynamic, mixed-use communal settings that reinforce social sustainability, vibrancy, and financial success for our communities.