As we would expect, there were clear differences in use by age groups, with distinct timetabling of use: « older adults were present in the town centre mainly in the mornings and early afternoon, but strikingly absent almost everywhere by evening.» The researchers found little interaction between generations, particularly between strangers, and ‘a distinct separation’ between the public lives of younger and older people.
«This study emphasises the essential tension in public spaces between the need to ‘live and let live’, and the need to manage and regulate. Successful management needs to involve constant negotiation between the extremes of over-regulation and laissez-faire approaches. Public education, information and involvement are essential to this process. The research suggests the need for some gradation of security, drawing on community support and harnessing the general inclination of people to self-regulate to avoid conflict.» [Via Neighbourhoods].