Draw people out of the private realms of homes and cars. In order for an interaction to occur, people need to see each other and be in close enough proximity to interact, but they also need a reason to be out of their homes in the first place, and a reason to interact with others. This is spatially achieved by:
Providing Common Areas
Creating Clear Boundaries
Interactions must be repeated to lead to connections. Recognizability is critical for forming social ties and is the weak link in much of America. Most common areas serve populations far too large to allow for brief, repeated, unintentional meetings that are needed to build lasting social ties. Recognizability is supported with:
Provide Conversation Zones that invite people to linger should they choose to have a conversation. Conversation Zones have:
Physical Characteristics: comfortable seating in small groups with 8' person-to-person proximity and near larger activity.
Attentional Characteristics: Free from unpleasant noise, smells, distractions, and contains restorative features.
Each behavior goal is supported by several key spatial factors
(Photo: Clubhouse at Ridgecrest Apartments, Lake Forest, CA)
(Image: Rendering of proposed improvements at Ridgecrest Apartments, Lake Forest, CA)
(Photo: Pool at Ridgecrest Apartments, Lake Forest, CA)
(Photo: Lawn at Ridgecrest Apartments, Lake Forest, CA)
that support public interaction are along the route that people take to get to their homes, and should be close to the residences they serve, ideally adjacent to, but can as far as 600 feet. This enables people to use the common area without going out of their way so people don't have to intentionally plan to meet. This Ridgecrest courtyard is adjacent to just a few residences.
(Photo: Courtyard at Ridgecrest Apartments, Lake Forest, CA)
(image source: www.walkscore.com)
(Photo: Ridgecrest Apartments, Lake Forest, CA)
(Photo: Speed bump at Ridgecrest Apartments, Lake Forest, Ca)
The Social Score Inventory simplifies the Key Factors into a single numerical score.