Creating Safe, Engaging, and Accessible Shared Spaces for Your Community

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A community space is somewhere for local people to gather and connect and do things together, and pursue shared interests or activities, both serious and fun. They should provide a sense of belonging for its members by providing them with opportunities to connect with one another and participate in activities that they enjoy.


The following information about creating your own community space is provided by The Mount Vernon Grapevine, whose dedication to its community and its people is an inspiration and a blueprint for all others to follow.


For Businesses

When you are running a business, it is important to have a space where employees and customers can interact with one another. This creates a sense of community among your customers and employees and gives your business an identity that people can recognize. It also helps build trust and loyalty among your customers and employees.

If the space is to be used for networking, avoid creating spaces where people might feel like they’re being cornered by laying out the tables and chairs to allow for freedom of movement.


A Community Space for Fun and Fitness

There are many benefits to creating community spaces for exercise, fun, and fitness. These spaces can help people to exercise, socialize and make new friends, and they can support a healthy lifestyle.

According to the CDC, people who have more access to green environments, such as parks and trails, tend to walk and be more physically active than those with limited access. The closer people live to a park and the safer they feel in the park, the more likely they are to walk or bike to those places and use the park for physical activity.


Community Relations Space

For communities to feel connected, they need a space where people can come together to share their thoughts and ideas. It can be anything from a library to a coffee shop. In order for it to be a real community space, though, it should have an open-door policy, give people a sense of belonging and ownership, and provide open access to everyone. The space you create for community relations should be as diverse as your community itself.


A Space to Encourage Self Care

Self-care is not just about taking a break from work. It is also about creating physical community spaces that encourage people to take care of themselves.

According to therapist and social worker Donna Oriowo, self-care and community care are very much linked. There is only so far self-care can go without a community around you to help support you in the moments when you may not be at your best.

One of the best ways to create a space to encourage self-care is to make it as comfortable as possible and to have activities such as yoga classes, meditation sessions, and art classes in order to keep the community space active.


Accessibility Designs

The first step toward making community spaces safe is by ensuring that there are no barriers for anyone who wants to enter these spaces. This includes ensuring enough space, having proper lighting, providing a wide range of amenities, and supplying information about how to access these spaces in case someone needs assistance. Engaging users with disabilities to form a small focus group to walk through the space will give you the best feedback, too.


Proper Lighting for Safety

There is no one-size-fits-all standard for community spaces except for one feature that is critical to all of them; safety.

The need for visibility cannot be overstated both indoors and out. Substantial outdoor lighting is important not only for safety but for beautification and for providing landmarks for visitors and guests too. 

For outside spaces, pole lamps spaced close enough to prevent any dark or shadowed spaces at night can prevent injuries from falls and deter crime. Light poles and bases should be durable and long-lasting, like those made of aluminum and steel. Consider these poles for parking lights. You can even find decorative options as well.

Communities are a fundamental part of the human experience. They help us to learn, share, and grow. Making them safe with proper lighting, inviting with fun events, engaging with opportunities for play, and comforting for self-care is a huge task to take on, but the rewards will extend far further than you could ever imagine.


Information courtesy of