THE ROLE OF SUBURBAN PUBLIC SPACE IN ACTIVATION OF THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
References: 3rd International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM2016, www.sgemsocial.org , SGEM2016 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-54-4 / ISSN 2367-5659, Apr 06-09, Book 4, Vol.2, 789-796 pp, DOI: 10.5593/SGEMSOCIAL2016/HB42/S07.099
The paper discusses the issues of public space in Wrocław suburbian areas in terms of their role in shaping a local community. The research topic is the connection between democratization in forming public space processes and the increase of social capital as well as the citizens’ bond with their habitat. The research purpose is identifying these factors which influence the degree of social participation in forming public space and evaluating efficiency of those activities which aim at increasing the engagement of local communities in the protection and development of living environment. The practical aspect of the research is supporting development of social participation in the process of forming public space.
Public space is a common good, therefore its quality and development depend on the degree of social capital. The process of social space forming has impact on its appearance and functions. Also, physical properties of the area are subjects to interactions with social behavior. Because the dependence between a community and a common space reach a culmination here, it is so vital to describe the essence of their relationships and the conditions which influence them.
The issues we described are interdisciplinary, therefore they are based on the research concerning environmental sociology and psychology, forming environment and spatial planning and also the author’s own research. Additionally, to illustrate the research results we have used case studies of activities undertaken in the Program of Reintegrating Residential Areas conducted in cooperation between Wrocław University of Technology and local self government.
The low level of social development of a civil society is one of the reasons for degradation of social participation. On the one hand, lack of social structures and a low level social organization bring about a barrier for any dialogue attempts. Also public institutions and traders are insufficiently prepared to carry out public consultations. All parties to the decision making process, which relates to forming public space, need more knowledge and skills in the field of cooperation based on care of the common good. Therefore, what is really important is the participations of academic community in promoting this knowledge and initiating and supporting the development of dialogue and cooperation.
Keywords: suburban public space, social capital
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