Youth and The City

As an urban citizen, have you ever visited the parks around your neighborhood? Public spaces have a unique position in the Indonesian lifestyle. The word “park” is defined as a piece of ground in or near a city or town kept for ornament and recreation. While in Indonesian, “taman” means a place to gather and exercise, differing from the western definition of parks that emphasizes the concept of having fun while Indonesian parks encourage the satisfaction of social interaction. The word “taman” in Indonesian imbues a special quality compared to the word “alun-alun” that refers more to a town square with minimal vegetation and “hutan kota” or a densely packed urban forest that lacks space for activity. Urban parks fill the gap between the two forms of public space, by responding to the psychological and social needs of citizens through activities while not overlooking the greenery supporting the urban ecology. The existence of urban parks around us is unexpectedly important in promoting sustainable urban development. Nowadays, urban areas house more than half the population of the world, and they all need facilities that support citizen prosperity. One of these facilities is the urban park. The attraction of urban park as a place to socialize with playground and exercising facilities can encourage citizens to visit more, fostering a sense of ownership and familial bond towards parks. A growing sense of park ownership can foster the desire to maintain the parks and the city themselves, creating a safer and more comfortable city. From an urban health perspective, visits to parks to relax can reduce the stress level of urban citizens, which can be one of the ways to increase the happiness level of citizens. The positive effects of parks to our environment are also not to be underestimated. Aside from producing oxygen, parks can also become a drainage system and temperature regulator. A city with adequate parks will enhance the physical and mental health of its citizens as well as provide green space to balance the environmental effects of commercial and residential development.

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