If there were 100 people in public space

In my PhD research, I have mapped down nearly ten thousand people. I have categorized them according to their age, gender, group size, and also their activities.
To the eye of someone who has been living in Western countries for about 20 years now, I was surprised to see that public spaces in China are occupied dominantly by the elderly. In some emerging urban villages, people with small children are the second biggest group, which makes me feel like public spaces could be used effectively as a substitute for open childcare centers.
Coming to China, I had realized an important role of public spaces which we often forget in Western society. They are not only spaces for public events, they are not inviting spaces for sitting and watching others. In fact, the case of China suggests that they are a special location, a daily destination for un-privilege people such as children of migrant workers who cannot afford local childcare, leave alone many elderly who often feel lonely in the concrete jungle of big cities in China.


Minh Nguyen


  • Click on each node to see the profile of each space
  • If you want to read more about my PhD’ research, here is the LINK
  • I am very grateful for the endless support of my supervisors, Prof. Diane Brand and Prof Jule Moloney, and Prof Marc Schabel
  • I also owl a great debt to Dr. Kai Gu who examined my thesis and provided great feedback for further refinement