Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Hawker Centres: A Social Space Approach to Promoting Community Wellbeing

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Abstract:  This article sets out to examine how the use of social spaces, namely hawker centres, has contributed to community wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic. Using an extensive thematic analysis of online conversations, we have identified that the use of social spaces can have a positive influence on individual, relational and social wellbeing. Access to social spaces during stressful events contributes to the feeling of normalcy, supports routines and structured activities, encourages responsible behaviours, facilitates social connectedness, and helps maintain community resilience. We present a new framework for urban social space characterisation containing three dimensions: coaction, copresence, and colocation (the three Cs). Here, coaction is associated with better visibility of community practices, copresence enhances the sense of connectedness, and colocation is concerned with the use of spatial design factors for influencing movement and interactions. The framework is central to our understanding of social space and its impact on wellbeing. Underpinning the three Cs is the notion of the integration of policy, community wellbeing, and various urban agendas. The findings were considered in terms of their relevance for social space development in Singapore.

Keywords:  coaction; colocation; community wellbeing; copresence; hawker centres; social space; urban development



© Valeriya Radomskaya, Abhishek Singh Bhati. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.