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Blogs / Professional Fellows Exchange Program / Creating Open Space, Creating Healthy Community

Creating Open Space, Creating Healthy Community

In the Planning Division’s office in Albany, Oregon, there is a banner that attracted me. 


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The title of the banner is How to Build Community. Many things are listed on that banner. I was interested in three sentences on that banner, which are "turn off your TV", “leave your house", and "take children to the park ".

As an impact of modern living style, modern humans spend their time for working, for earning some money. Sometime they have to work overtime. Leave home in the early morning and back home in the evening. So they do not have much time to interact with the neighbors or other family members. Their time is spent only at home just by watching television or take a rest. And that's not good. One of characteristic of a healthy society is a society who spend more time outside the home to interact with others. Not just stay at home.

I was lucky because I was permitted to see many cities around my host city, Albany. In those cities, I saw how the cities’ government have a serious concern to provide open public space that will let their citizen to interact or to enjoy their leisure time with their family. Not only just provides a public spaces, but they also complete them with full facilities.

As I have written on my previous post, with only got 7.5% of the area for green open space (supposed 20% according to the regulation of the Ministry of Public Works), Semarang continues to increase the number of green open space areas. Mission is not accomplished yet. There are so many things to do more. With the experience which I had on how cities I had visited managed their open space, I hope I can share ideas for escalating the area for public open spaces. 

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sugeng hartanto

Open Public Spaces in (left to right) Albany, Portland, Seattle and Corvallis