When you're designing a community space, you always want to make safety a priority. Ensuring that everyone feels welcome is critical. To get inspiration for community spaces and programs, look into the offerings from the John J. Byrne Community Center! Furthermore, the following tips will help you emphasize safety in designs for community spaces.
Determine the Space's Purpose
To determine what features your space needs regarding safety, security, and accessibility, you first need to decide on its primary use. For example, networking may be a good use of public spaces. When people are networking, they want to feel relaxed and open - they won't want to feel stuck in cramped spaces or corners where they can't interact with new people. You can also use public spaces for physical exercise, community events, socializing, and relaxation. Depending on the purpose, you may need appropriate seating or equipment for people to use.
Add Bright Lighting
No matter what kind of community space you're designing, you must ensure it's well-lit. Adequate lighting is essential for public parks and parking lots or garages. You'll have many lighting options - pick out lamp posts with sturdy, decorative poles and bases. You'll want to ensure that they hold up in bad weather and can withstand the test of time. Materials like aluminum or steel are good options for parking lot light poles.
Plan Accessible Walkways
Whether creating an indoor or outdoor space, you must consider how people will move through it. Planning wide, accessible walkways with large entrances that people with mobility aids can use is crucial. If you're designing outdoor walkways, KG Landscape recommends using concrete materials, installing ramps where appropriate, adding handrails for extra support and creating covered spaces along walkways where people can seek shelter in poor weather. Keeping walkways clean and clear of trash or debris is also important.
People don't often think of signage in shared public spaces as a safety feature - but it can be! For instance, you will want to ensure that exits are adequately marked. You may also want to check and see if you are required to display signage laying out relevant local ordinances. If you're preparing signage for a park, you'll need to add a few signs with rules for conduct, such as requirements for keeping pets on leashes, laws against smoking, or similar guidelines. You can also post signs that let people know when the space opens and closes. Signage helps keep everyone on the same page about permitted community uses.
Of course, it can be a good idea to go the extra mile and incorporate additional security tools into the design for your space. Today, there is a wide range of security tools that you can use to enhance the safety of public spaces. Your choices might depend on whether the area you're designing is indoors or outdoors. Vector Security recommends using surveillance cameras that enable remote monitoring and investing in remote access control technology to secure specific sites at night, such as restrooms, gated areas, or pools. With an extra layer of security, you'll be able to keep visitors safe.
As you plan a design for community spaces, you must ensure that visitors feel safe and relaxed. A community gathering space should be comfortable and secure for all. With these tips, you'll be able to develop well-lit, securitized, enjoyable areas where your community can congregate for years to come.
Do you want to get involved with new community programs? Check out the John J. Byrne Community Center! Please fill out the contact form on our website today to learn more.
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