Is an Urban Hospitality Culture Key to Creating Safer Downtowns?

Article Overview

In this post, we explore the concept of urban hospitality, and the diverse approaches to foster a welcoming urban atmosphere. Drawing inspiration from Japan’s renowned Omotenashi principles, we’ll also envision how Canadian cities can tailor their own unique rendition.


Written by Lili Wang


In 2020, Gehl Architects conducted a study on the changing dynamics of public spaces and life in Danish cities after the pandemic. The findings indicated a significant decrease in downtown engagements and activity on commercial streets. However, public spaces have remained active, and people adapted to new ways of utilizing their local communities.
In 2024, life post-pandemic seems to be starting to return. Nonetheless, the challenge for us, as city builders, lies in defining – what is the new normal? How can we build and strengthen both the community and the city? Is it safe and equitable?


In my own city of Calgary, Canada, 77% of Calgarians agree that ‘revitalizing Calgary’s downtown should take precedence’ in the next five years (according to the 2023 Fall Survey of Calgarians). Making downtown areas appealing to a broader community is crucial to ensuring they always remain safe and vibrant.


Read the full article on


About Lili Wang: Lili is a designer with international experience; originally from Uruguay, she has Taiwanese roots and studied in the UK. Lili is passionate about cultural differences and how design has the power to bring communities together, bridging the gap through place-making and thoughtful design. With prior experience in public art, design competitions, commercial, public and residential projects, Lili believes in collaborative design that elevates the human experience and enhances our urban spaces.

Read Next

We’d love to get to know you

Get in touch

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

By clicking the above button you agree to our Terms of Service and have read and understood our Privacy Policy.