Work Smarter

Co-Working & Urban Design

Ottawa Canal
Photo by: Ross Brown

A social, energetic, vibrant urban environment happens by design, not by accident. Think about the elements that go into making a great public park it’s a single, cohesive space that allows people to simultaneously engage in a variety of activities. People can play soccer while others fly kites, picnic, climb the monkey bars … you name it.

A coworking space isn’t much different; everyone benefits from a certain amount of social interaction, but people are using it in a mutlitude of ways. Here are three design elements your coworking space can take from great public parks.
    Look around a park, and you’re likely to see parents occupying a bench, eyes glued to their phones, while their children throw each other off the monkey bars. A good coworking space will allow any individual that is working the ability to be able to do so in a focused, head-down kind of fashion where they can be creative and productive in their day.
    Stretch your mind back to the times you spent playing “King of the Hill.” Before someone inevitably wound-up injured after tumbling to the bottom, the amount of planning, strategizing and teamwork required to maintain your position at the peak of the snow drift or grassy knoll was inspiring. A coworking space should be equally as collaborative, albeit with fewer injuries. The advantage of a co-working environment is having people surrounding you from multiple disciplines all in one space. A mix of talents and skills should allow you to be able to tap into different perspectives and thoughts, in terms of how you could potentially work.
    Much like those elderly folks attempting to acheive inner peace through poorly synchronized Tai-Chi, a coworkspace allows individuals —— from a health and wellness perspective —— to be able to work with other people and have that camaraderie, because very often, especially among entrepreneurs and freelancers, people are working from home and can very quickly become isolated. Psychologically, some people manage it really well and they are happy with it, but the majority of people really need social interaction.

Amanda Burden: How public spaces make cities work

Learn more about what Ottawa’s Urban Strategies are today and what plans are guiding our city to make it more livable in the future.
City Planning Map
Photo from: Urban Strategies Inc.