Search form

What is a good place for interaction?

­­___Good places for interaction are places where people – often from many parts of the community and/or diverse backgrounds – meet naturally and interact because of the nature or attraction of the space and/or the activities associated with it

___Good places for interaction have a reason for people to go there

­___Good places for interaction have a reason for people to want to stay once they’ve arrived

___Good places for interaction feel safe and comfortable

___Good places for interaction  are welcoming and accessible to everyone

Why should you create good places for interaction?

___They can help to develop a sense of community pride and ownership

___They can help build a true sense of community among people of diverse origins, backgrounds, and points of view

___They can expand children’s horizons through interactions with people who have different assumptions and expectations

___They can make the community a more pleasant place to live because more people have contact with one another

__ They can increase the general enjoyment of life in the community

___They can increase safety and security

___They can improve the livability of neighborhoods

___They can promote individuals’ understanding of one another’s culture and humanity

___They can provide a forum for the exchange of ideas

___They can increase equity

___They can increase social capital, particularly bridging social capital

___They can increase the chances for concerted community action and social change

When should you create good places for interaction?

___When the neighborhood or community is engaged in a planning process

___When there’s an economic development initiative

___When there’s a new residential or commercial development or major building going up

___When any major municipal project is in process

___When a neighborhood or community gathering place is, or is in danger of, falling into decay or being overrun by drug dealers or others who make it unpleasant and dangerous for the community to use it

___When barriers to interaction are proposed

___When an existing good place for interaction is threatened

___When there’s tension among different groups that share an area or live in neighboring areas

Who should create good places for interaction?

___The people who are going to use them

___Local officials

___Planners, architects, and designers


___Community leaders and opinion makers

___The business community

___The police and the court system

___Community activists and community-based organizations

How do you create good places for interaction?

___You design interaction into them, by giving them:

  • Reasons for people to want to go there (things to see and do)
  • Reasons for people to want to stay there (seating, food, etc.)
  • Comfort and safety (quiet, movable seating, good lighting, lots of other people)
  • Accessibility and a welcoming feeling (ramps, easy access from the street, visibility, wide entrances, signs in different languages, representations of various cultures)

___You use incentives for private developers and businesses

___You pass regulations that mandate the inclusion of interactive spaces into private and public projects

___You advocate for incentives and regulations, and for attention to be paid to spaces in a particular neighborhood or area that you’re concerned with

___You organize the community or neighborhood to use its own assets – people, institutions, physical elements, etc. – to plan and create or restore its own good places for interaction

___You keep at it indefinitely