BOON Landscape Architect Daniel McEwan talks urban spaces and community connection.

Where do we dance?

BOON welcomes Daniel McEwan our team of Design Thinkers. Recently relocating to Taranaki, Daniel brings wide spanning landscape architecture experience, gained while residing in New Zealand's largest Urban Centers. We sat down with Daniel to hear his take on the role of Landscape Architecture in NZ.

“A friends research has strongly influenced my view on the role of Landscape Architecture and how I approach design of urban environments for human inhabitance.” says Daniel.

Dr Rebecca Kiddle’s recent study titled ‘Where do we dance’ looks into the idea of third spaces as additional living spaces to our domestic and work spaces that have the ability to embrace diversity and community within a shared living environment. She comments on the effect of these spaces as being ‘levellers’ where anyone of any culture, age, ethnicity or social demographic can feel part of, or have a sense of belonging in that space. This sense of community and the idea of a greater wellbeing especially for those in our community who don’t have resource to indulge in luxury, is what drives me in design of the human environment.

“If we can create spaces that remove social barriers and afford better wellbeing for a community then we are on the right track in creating more livable cities in one of the most liveable countries that we call home.” adds Daniel.

Some interesting key findings from Dr Rebecca Kiddle’s research include:

  • The importance of shopping spaces and centres as community occupied third living spaces – due to private ownership there is a lack of regulatory tools enabling communities to engage in decision-making around these spaces. That is in despite of the importance these spaces play in the day to day living of communities;
  • Multicultural communities don’t in themselves result in meaningful cross-cultural interactions, rather planned activities and the activation of spaces is needed in order to create comfortable opportunities for people of different cultures to interact;
  • and, giving children the agency to design and create their own third places results in well liked and well used spaces.

Read more about Dr Kiddle’s research here >>

Author: BOON - Design Thinkers