Living well in your local neighbourhood: the value of bumping and gathering places
Type of content
Cities need places that contribute to quality of life, places that support social interaction. Wellbeing, specifically, community wellbeing, is influenced by where people live, the quality of place is important and who they connect with socially. Social interaction and connection can come from the routine involvement with others, the behavioural acts of seeing and being with others. This research consisted of 38 interviews of residents of Christchurch, New Zealand, in the years following the 2010-12 earthquakes. Residents were asked about the place they lived and their interactions within their community. The aim was to examine the role of neighbourhood in contributing to local social connections and networks that contribute to living well. Specifically, it focused on the role and importance of social infrastructure in facilitating less formal social interactions in local neighbourhoods. It found that neighbourhood gathering places and bumping spaces can provide benefit for living well. Social infrastructure, like libraries, parks, primary schools, and pubs are some of the places of neighbourhood that contributed to how well people can encounter others for social interaction. In addition, unplanned interactions were facilitated by the existence of bumping places, such as street furniture. The wellbeing value of such spaces needs to be acknowledged and factored into planning decisions, and local rules and regulations need to allow the development of such spaces.
Ngā upoko tukutuku/Māori subject headings
ANZSRC fields of research
Fields of Research::33 - Built environment and design::3304 - Urban and regional planning::330413 - Urban planning and health