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Another accolade to public spaces

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On my morning walk in the park I overhear a snatch of conversation among older men who gather at a low wall to chat. One of them offers his friend a newspaper; the friend refuses, saying “It is a waste of time. Newspapers are for home.” The two men begin to argue and I continue my walk, reflecting on their words. The park provides a social place for elderly men who live, or at least spend much of their time, alone. A newspaper can help them get through the lonely hours at home, but when outdoors, most would rather be conversing with others, or at least watching people. And of course it’s not just elderly men. For many people, public spaces fill in the gaps in their lives. They are a place to exercise, to relax, to have fun, to meet friends, to become part of the fabric of life in the city. They are, in short, an essential part of liveable cities, which is why part of HealthBridge’s liveable cities program is devoted to protecting and preserving parks and other public spaces.