Men are at significantly greater risk than women to violent crime victimization in the US, especially in the public sphere. Despite this, their fears and vulnerabilities have received considerably less attention in recent social discourse than have women. Men's risk in, and fear of, public space is overshadowed by their apparent fearlessness in public space. This paper begins to address this apparent paradox using the conceptual lenses of masculinity and control. I explore fear and fearlessness among men as objects and subjects of masculinity. Stated fearlessness among men is counterbalanced by a chronic fear of violent crime victimization. Conditioned fearlessness combines with actual risk and chronic fear to shape men's experiences in the public sphere. I study the dynamics of men's fear using data gathered from a group of young men and women in Philadelphia. Gendered differences in fear and how environments are perceived and judged as to their relative safety are demonstrated and explored. Compared to women's fears and perceived geographical vulnerabilities, the men of this study demonstrate a persistent and chronic wariness of their environmental context that precedes any judgment of perceived safety. Violence and fear among both men and women in this study is further explained as a function of racism and economic marginalization.
Journal of Architectural and Planning Research (2014)
Björn Hellström, Mats E. Nilsson, Östen Axelsson, Peter Lundén
The amount of noise in urban settings is steadily on the rise, creating a potential health hazard and causing a general nuisance. In major European cities, noise levels are so high that the majority of urban parks can no longer truly serve as recreational environments, a problem the World Health Organization and the European Union are attempting to address. This study explores various strategies that promote the sustainable development of urban soundscapes at locations meant for rest, recreation, and social interaction. Further, we look at how people are affected by the combined effects of traffic and nature sounds in parks and other outdoor settings. To this end, we adopted a new track — the use of interdisciplinary methodology — that brings together architectural analysis, artistic experiments, and psychoacoustic methodology to evaluate the aesthetic, emotional, perceptual, and spatial effects of noise on subjects spending time in public open-air spaces. We conducted a large-scale case study at a city park to explore whether subjects were affected by purposely distributed sounds and, if so, how. The working hypothesis was that it is possible to cancel out or mute traffic noise by affecting individuals' aural perceptions using a process known as informational masking. Our long-term objective is to create a scientific foundation for action plans, both preemptive and troubleshooting, targeting noise reduction in parks and similar public spaces that are meant to provide a relaxing environment.
Robert J. Sampson, Thomas Gannon-Rowley & Jeffrey D. Morenoff
This paper assesses and synthesizes the cumulative results of a new “neighborhood-effects” literature that examines social processes related to problem behaviors and health-related outcomes. Our review identified over 40 relevant studies published in peer-reviewed journals from the mid-1990s to 2001, the take-off point for an increasing level of interest in neighborhood effects. Moving beyond traditional characteristics such as concentrated poverty, we evaluate the salience of social-interactional and institutional mechanisms hypothesized to account for neighborhood-level variations in a variety of phenomena (e.g., delinquency, violence, depression, high-risk behavior), especially among adolescents. We highlight neighborhood ties, social control, mutual trust, institutional resources, disorder, and routine activity patterns. We also discuss a set of thorny methodological problems that plague the study of neighborhood effects, with special attention to selection bias. We conclude with promising strategies and directions for future research, including experimental designs, taking spatial and temporal dynamics seriously, systematic observational approaches, and benchmark data on neighborhood social processes.
Richard G. Davies, Olga Barbosa, Nicholas Burke, Richard A. Fuller, Kevin J. Gaston, Daniel Lewis, Jamie Tratalos & Philip H. Warren
The growing proportion of human populations living in urban areas, and consequent trends of increasing urban expansion and densification fuel a need to understand how urban form and land use affect environmental quality, including the availability of urban green spaces. Here we use Sheffield as a case study of city-wide relationships between urban green space extent, quality (vegetation cover and tree-cover), and gradients in urban form and topography. The total area of buildings and length of the road network are equally strong negative predictors of extent of green space, while the former predictor is amore important negative influence upon green space quality. Elevation positively influences extent of green space but negatively influences tree-cover. In contrast, slope of terrain positively influences green space quality and is the best predictor of tree-cover. Overall housing density is a more important negative predictor of extent of green space and tree-cover than the densities of individual housing types. Nevertheless, the latter are more important influences upon levels of vegetation cover. Threshold effects of densities of different housing types suggest opportunities for optimising green space quality, with implications for housing policy. Variation in ecological quality of green space may partly reflect different historical intensities of industrial activity.
Journal of Architectural and Planning Research (2013)
Yang, B., Li, S., Elder, B. R., & Wang, Z.
This study compares community-park design and residents' perceptions of safety in two subdivision communities in The Woodlands, Texas. The communities were built following two different planning approaches—the ecological approach and the conventional approach. Surveys have shown that residents generally feel safer in community parks built according to the latter approach. Using landscape metrics and home-to-park proximity indicators, we examine how different planning approaches affect park design and, as a result, influence residents' perceptions of safety. We cross-validated the results with survey studies conducted over several years. The study findings suggest that park location, spatial configuration of woody vegetation, and management of understory can be important design considerations that impact residents' perceived levels of safety. Park designers and managers should also consider providing parks that meet diverse needs and balance the requirements of ecological preservation, aesthetics, and cultural preference.
Planners and urban designers place high value on public open spaces, because of the latter's contribution to the quality of life and social interaction of residents in an urban development. Many urban theorists consider open space as an important component of a healthy urban environment. It is well established in the literature that the utilisation of public space varies from context to context. This article investigates whether the utilisation of open space at the neighbourhood level is more associated with the physical and functional properties of open space or if it varies across different cultures and contexts of cities. This research adopts the method of comparative analysis, involving three case studies from different cultures, and climatic and geographical contexts. In each of these three cities, the opinions of residents and visitors about public open space were obtained and observation surveys were conducted to measure the utilisation of these spaces. The research found that the utilisation of public space at various levels of neighbourhood significantly differs between cities because of the local context, such as culture, social values and climate, instead of just being due to the physical and functional properties of open space.
Fear in public spaces negatively impacts women’s lives. Even when danger is low, the idea of women as endangered in public space endures—due, in part, to its centrality in the construction of gender identity for men and women. In this article, the author examines the construction of contemporary, masculine gender identities and men’s perceptions of women as fearful and endangered in public space. Through interviews with 82 male students in Irvine, California, USA, the author examines how men’s construction of masculine identities builds upon perceptions of women as fearful and endangered in Irvine public spaces. Though they regard Irvine as safe, men see women as vulnerable there. The author investigates this apparent inconsistency in light of men’s performances of two masculine identities—the youthful ‘badass’ and the chivalrous man—which depend for their construction on opposition with women as fearful. Recommendations include suggestions for continued research on the spatial construction of masculine identities.
There is growing evidence that residents are more likely to walk in attractive neighbourhoods, and that negative visual cues can deter residents from engaging in physical activity. This study explored the premise that house design and upkeep could inhibit the incidence of physical disorder in suburban streets, thus contributing to a more pleasant walking environment for pedestrians. Street segments (n 1⁄4 443) in new residential developments (n 1⁄4 61) in Perth, Western Australia, were audited for house attributes that facilitate natural surveillance (e.g., porch/verandah) or indicate territoriality (e.g., garden/ lawn upkeep), and physical incivilities. A composite index of street-level house attributes yielded highly significant associations with disorder (trend test p 1⁄4 0.001) and graffiti (trend test p 1⁄4 0.005), signifying that the cumulative effect of several key attributes had greater potential to discourage incivilities in the street than any single characteristic. The findings suggest house design and upkeep may contribute to the creation of safe, inviting streets for pedestrians.
AIDS media lead unexpected lives once distributed through urban space: billboards fade, posters go missing, bumper stickers travel to other cities. The materiality of AIDS campaign objects and of the urban settings in which they are displayed structures how the public interprets their messages. Ethnographic observation of AIDS media in situ and interview data reveal how the materiality of objects and places shapes the availability of AIDS knowledge in Accra, Ghana. Significantly for AIDS organizations, these material conditions often systematically obstruct access to AIDS knowledge for particular groups. Attending to materiality rethinks how scholars assess the cultural power of media.
Few studies have explicitly examined the importance of cultural settings to children's environmental awareness, especially in a non-Western context. In this paper, the author reviews those studies which have drawn attention to how culture affects children's behaviour in large-scale environments and refers to an empirical study of a group of young Kenyan children which examines the relationship between environmental experience and environmental awareness. The findings are interesting for three principal reasons. First, they demonstrate that children who are without formal training and with limited access to maps are able to draw relatively sophisticated place representations and to recall their local environment in vivid terms. Secondly, these maps and place descriptions are different to those of their age-sex-counterparts from Britain, which suggests that culture influences expressive style if not cognitive ability. Thirdly, they suggest that further studies, set within other cross-cultural contexts, are needed, if the importance of culture to environmental capability is to be understood. The author argues that although geographers are well-placed to carry out this kind of investigation little geographical research on children's place relationships has been undertaken. In this sense, geographers are particularly remiss and are guilty of forgetting their 'roots.'
Journal of Architectural and Planning Research (1997)
Previous research has revealed important differences in architectural evaluation between design professionals and the lay public, with such differences commonly assumed to be the result of professional education. However, few attempts have been made to determine the actual source of such differences, and there is little evidence that these are actually the result of training or education. This paper summarizes the findings of a study which set out to investigate these issues, specifically focusing on differences in architectural interpretation between the lay public, planning students, and practicing planning professionals, a group often neglected in studies of environmental aesthetics. These interpretations were examined utilizing multiple sorting and ranking procedures, with the respondents asked to sort fifteen examples of contemporary architecture according to criteria of their own choice. The results revealed both commonalities and differences in evaluation between the various groups, with the differences particularly pronounced between planners and the public. The results lend support to the view that education is a key factor in the acquisition of aesthetic values and also suggest that training encourages homogeneity of aesthetic tastes. This study thus corroborates and expands the findings of studies by other researchers by suggesting that there are significant relationships between expertise, attitude, and interpretation which may have important implications for planning practice.
Building on Whyte’s work on livable places, the present study developed a four-item scale to assess visitability and used it to test whether three attributes identified by Whyte—seating, food, and triangulation—increase visit- ability.The study used color slides of three plazas altered for the presence or absence of each attribute. Sixty participants (23 men and 37 women) rated slides of the plazas on each of four items on the Perceived Visitability Scale (PVS). The four items had high interitem reliability, and each item and their composite had high interobserver reliability.The visitability ratings showed that plazas with seats, food, or sculpture had higher scores than plazas without those elements; and the combination of seats and sculpture had higher scores than either element alone. Contradicting Whyte, there was no statistically significant effect of gender. Seats, sculpture, and the perceived compatibility of elements with one another may improve plaza visitability.
The present study investigated the effects of public art on visual properties and affective appraisals of landscapes. Undergraduate and graduate students sequentially viewed landscapes with or without public art and rated each one for visual properties and affective appraisals. Study 1 revealed that the presence of public art reduced pleasantness of the natural scene, but did not reduce that of the urban scene. In Study 2 focusing on the urban landscapes, the t-tests showed that public art consistently yielded greater arousal and the visual properties related with arousal level (e.g., complexity), whereas for pleasantness and the visual properties related with pleasantness (e.g., legibility) the scores varied with the public artworks. Adopting the experimental design that systematically combined 4 landscapes with 2 pieces of public art, Study 3 revealed that the affective quality of public art had more influence on the landscapes than the compatibility between public art and the landscapes.
Despite the fact that virtual environments are increasingly deployed to study the relation between urban planning, physical and social disorder, and fear of crime, their ecological validity for this type of research has not been established. This study compares the effects of similar signs of public disorder (litter, warning signs, cameras, signs of vandalism and car burglary) in an urban neighborhood and in its virtual counterpart on the subjective perception of safety and livability of the neighborhood. Participants made a walking tour through either the real or the virtual neighborhood, which was either in an orderly (baseline) state or adorned with numerous signs of public disorder. During their tour they reported the signs of disorder they noticed and the degree to which each of these affected their emotional state and feelings of personal safety. After finishing their tour they appraised the perceived safety and livability of the environment. Both in the real and in the simulated urban neighborhood, signs of disorder evoked associations with social disorder. In all conditions, neglected greenery was spontaneously reported as a sign of disorder. Disorder did not inspire concern for personal safety in reality and in the virtual environment with a realistic soundscape. However, in the absence of sound disorder compromised perceived personal safety in the virtual environment. Signs of disorder were associated with negative emotions more frequently in the virtual environment than in its real-world counterpart, particularly in the absence of sound. Also, signs of disorder degraded the perceived livability of the virtual, but not of the real neighborhood. Hence, it appears that people focus more on details in a virtual environment than in reality. We conclude that both a correction for this focusing effect and realistic soundscapes are required to make virtual environments an appropriate medium for both etiological (e.g. the effects of signs of disorder on fear of crime) and intervention (e.g. CPTED) research.
Studies of seasonal barriers for outdoor activities seldom view families’ play practices as grounded in the everyday experience of the natural elements. This paper brings 20 families’ mundane outdoor play ex- periences in Auckland's temperate climate to the fore. Through drawings and interviews, families re- siding in both suburban detached houses and central city apartments revealed locally constituted beliefs about appropriate play spaces (e.g. garden, park). While the majority of participants retreated to indoor activities during winter, some children and their parents viewed the outdoors as the only opportunity for ‘real fun’. We advocate the importance of a better understanding of children's seasonal outdoor play. In particular, we argue that in order to promote year-round healthy levels of outdoor activities it is ne- cessary to understand variations in societal, neighbourhood and family values attributed to outdoor activities. Further, to develop a more nuanced understanding of the locational complexities of outdoor play it is important to understand the meanings of, and practices associated with, seasonal and weather conditions in different international locations.
The main objective of the present quasi-experi- mental study was to examine the influence of culture (Swedish vs Japanese) and environmental attitude (urban vs open-air person) on participants’ thermal, emotional and perceptual assessments of a square, within the PET (physiological equivalent temperature) comfortable inter- val of 18–23°C. It was predicted that persons living in different cultures with different environmental attitudes would psychologically evaluate a square differently despite similar thermal conditions. Consistent with this prediction, Japanese participants estimated the current weather as warmer than did Swedish participants and, consistent with this, they felt less thermally comfortable on the site, although participants in both countries perceived similar comfortable thermal outdoor conditions according to the PET index. Compared to the Japanese, the Swedes estimated both the current weather and the site as windier and colder, indicating a consistency in weather assessment on calm-windy and warm-cold scales in participants in both cultures. Furthermore, Swedish participants felt more glad and calm on the site and, in line with their character (more glad than gloomy), they estimated the square as more beautiful and pleasant than did Japanese participants. All this indicates that thermal, emotional and perceptual assessments of a physical place may be intertwined with psychological schema-based and socio-cultural processes, rather than fixed by general thermal indices developed in line with physiological heat balance models. In conse- quence, this implies that thermal comfort indices may not be applicable in different cultural/climate zones without modifications, and that they may not be appropriate if we do not take into account the psychological processes involved in environmental assessment.
Journal of Architectural and Planning Research (2013)
Weinreb, A. R., & Rofè, Y.
Feeling maps survey and map people's emotional responses to their environment as they walk through the streets of a particular urban area. This study describes the first application of feeling maps in long-term, ethnographic field research. It was conducted in Mitzpe Ramon, a small town in Israel's Negev Desert Highlands. Over the course of one year, an ethnographer individually accompanied 55 participants with diverse social characteristics on a set of seven walking routes. These routes included neighborhood spaces, open public spaces, and at least one view of the surrounding natural desert landscape. The locations where between two and seven participants spontaneously reported experiencing strong feelings (positive, negative, or mixed) based on a numerical rating scale and open-ended narration were identified as "affective clusters." Results suggest that people's shared feelings about specific places are influenced by the particular physical properties and characteristics of a given place. Making a contribution to cognitive mapping and environmental preference techniques, feeling maps enable researchers to share a participant's position and views of the landscape as he or she articulates emotions and memories related to those views. Replicable in any setting, this technique could be used to create and maintain spaces that are attractive, inviting, and emotionally pleasing variety of users.
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (2010)
Gillian Rose, Begum Basdas & Monica Degen
This paper begins by reviewing a range of recent work by geographers conceptualising buildings less as solid objects and more as performances. Buildings, it is argued, are not given but produced, as various materials are held together in specific assemblages by work of various kinds. This has led to a range of studies looking at the diverse sorts of work that make buildings cohere: the political institutions they are embedded in, the material affordances of their non-human components, the discourses surrounding particular kinds of buildings, and, in particular, the experiencing of buildings by their human inhabitants, users and visitors. However, this experiencing has been poorly theorised. Those geographers inspired by actor network approaches to buildings acknowledge human experiences, but in very limited ways; while those geographers inspired more by affect theory evoke the 'feelings' that buildings may provoke but evacuate human subjectivity from their accounts of buildings' performances. Through a case study of two buildings, this paper argues that both approaches are flawed in their uninterest in the human, and proposes that more attention be paid to (at least) three aspects of human feeling: the feel of buildings, feelings in buildings and feelings about buildings.
This article examines the ways in which individuals use MP3 players to shape their experiences of the London commute. To investigate MP3 listening practices, I conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews with eight DJs and ‘listeners’ living in London. I argue that MP3 players enable individuals to use music to precisely shape their experiences of space, place, others and themselves while moving through the city. In doing so, individuals experience great control as they transform urban journeys into private and pleasurable spaces. While experienced effects of MP3 player listening were similar among respondents, pre-existing relationships to music appear to relate to motivations for use. This article draws on a variety of social theorists ranging from Simmel and Adorno to Lefebvre to interrogate the experience of control MP3 users describe, and to understand the implications for the autonomy of urban inhabitants.
The neighborhoods in which children grow up have consequences for their short‐ and long‐term well‐being. Although most neighborhood research measures disadvantage at the census tract level, more proximate physical characteristics of neighborhoods may be more relevant indicators of neighborhood quality for the well‐being of young children. Using the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, this study explores the association between these more proximate indicators of neighborhood physical disorder measured across childhood (ages 3 to 9) and early delinquency at age 9. Descriptive results (N = 2,989) indicate that exposure to neighborhood physical disorder across childhood is common among children in urban areas. Multivariate analyses suggest that exposure to neighborhood physical disorder, particularly for older children, is strongly associated with a higher likelihood of engagement in early delinquent behaviors, over and above family and census tract‐level measures of disadvantage. Associations remain robust to numerous supplementary analyses and alternate specifications.
Jane Jacobs's The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961) had an enormous influence on urban design theories and practices. This study aims to operationalize Jacobs's conditions for a vital urban life. These are (1) mixed use, (2) small blocks, (3) aged buildings, and (4) a sufficient concentration of buildings. Jacobs suggested that a vital urban life could be sustained by an urban realm that promotes pedestrian activity for various purposes at various times. Employing multilevel binomial models, we empirically verified that Jacobs's conditions for urban diversity play a significant role with regard to pedestrian activity.
Journal of Architectural and Planning Research (1990)
Nasar, Jack L., & Yurdakul, A. Rengin
This study examined patterns of activity in street-side public spaces in one city. Eye-level videotape was employed to document public activity, characteristics of the population and characteristics of the downtown street-side surroundings. A scheme for organizing the data is presented. Patterns of use, disaggregated across activities, groups and time periods were derived, and limitations and implications are discussed.
Residents in a neighborhood view physical disorders as a potential incubator for negative incidents. Even though the disorders may not directly bring serious crime to the neighborhood, the poor physical conditions may affect residents in other ways, including increases in perceived physical disorder and fear of crime and decreases in neighborhood satisfaction. Focusing on the effects of physical disorder, this study examined the underlying associations between the actual upkeep, perceived upkeep, and neighborhood satisfaction using a structural equation model. The findings confirmed interrelationships be- tween factors; confirmed that as some categories of actual upkeep improved, perceived upkeep and neighborhood satisfaction improved; confirmed that as perceived upkeep improved, perceived safety from crime and neighborhood satisfaction improved; and confirmed that as perceived safety from crime improved, neighborhood satisfaction improved. The structural equation model showed that actual physical upkeep factors each had indirect effects on perceived upkeep, safety from crime, and neighborhood satisfaction.
What features of the physical environment may support women to breastfeed in the public space? Based on in-depth interviews with eight women who were breastfeeding during the research period, this article explores this question. Three factors were examined as contributing to the comfort of nursing women in public space: peer support, a sense of protection, and cultural signifiers. Using five scales of physical attributes, tested through a visual research tool, a range of public spaces were examined to give insight into the features that contribute to women’s ability and willingness to nurse in them. The results show that a sense of place attachment does not affect women’s willingness to breastfeed; that physical comfort is desired, but can be waived aside; that physical shelter is important; that peers (in the form of other parents) or their expected presence, form a strong source of support; and that perceived formality, or work-related context, is the strongest deterrent reported to breastfeeding. I conclude that using private sphere attributes in public spaces could make them more accessible to the practice of breastfeeding.
In this essay, I paint a portrait of women in public places and their concerns with crime prevention, based on a survey of the literature and in-depth interviews with women. I argue that there is a situationally appropriate self that crime-prevention advice literature suggests women adopt and that women attempt to adopt. This situated self, however, is sometimes constrained by the general character of public places and by the particular character of the belief system that women have and that the literature recommends with regard to crime prevention. In particular, I view normative beliefs about crime prevention as a "rhetoric" that involves negative contingencies for the woman's situated self in public, including frequent reliance on others, self-profanation, and lengthy or consuming preparations.
Increasing amounts of information processing capacity are embedded in the environment around us. The informational landscape is both a repository of data and also increasingly communicates and processes information. No longer confined to desk tops, computers have become both mobile and also disassembled. Many everyday objects now embed computer processing power, while others are activated by passing sensors, transponders and processors. The distributed processing in the world around us is often claimed to be a pervasive or ubiquitous computing environment: a world of ambient intelligence, happening around us on the periphery of our awareness, where our environment is not a passive backdrop but an active agent in organizing daily lives. The spaces around us are now being continually forged and reforged in informational and communicative processes. It is a world where we not only think of cities but cities think of us, where the environment reflexively monitors our behaviour. This paper suggests that we need to unpack the embedded politics of this process. It outlines the three key emerging dynamics in terms of environments that learn and possess anticipation and memory, the efficacy of technological mythologies and the politics of visibility. To examine the assumptions and implications behind this the paper explores three contrasting forms of ‘sentient’ urban environments. The first addresses market-led visions of customized consumer worlds. The second explores military plans for profiling and targeting. Finally, the third looks at artistic endeavours to re-enchant and contest the urban informational landscape of urban sentience. Each, we suggest, shows a powerful dynamic of the environment tracking, predicting and recalling usage.
The existing literature on the social, personal, and health consequences of high density housing is unclear regarding the significance that can be attached to the physical features of housing. The present study, which is based on interview information collected in Hong Kong, is able to control for deprivations and stresses related to "poor housing," and it is also able to distinguish superficial from more severe measures of personal strain. High densities are seen to have very little effect on individuals and families, although there is a suggestion that congestion is a potentially significant stress.
The general aim of this paper is to demonstrate the significance of intentional soundscape design in urban squares by investigating people’s general perceptions of urban soundscape and sound preferences, and the effects of demographic factors. An intensive questionnaire survey was carried out in two urban squares in Sheffield. Sound identification and classification were both considered. The results show that natural sounds as a group were generally preferred to urban sounds; the preferences of soundscape elements influenced people’s choice of using an urban square; and in terms of sound preference, the differences amongst age groups were rather significant, whereas between males and females only slight differences were found. Finally, some suggestions on soundscape design in urban squares are given.
Results from an inner-city teen focus group on parks and urban green space in Los Angeles, California and responses to parallel questions posed to adults from the same area show striking differences. While adults focused on activities and cited a need for additional recreation-oriented parks for teens, teenagers themselves focused on greened spaces suitable for socializing and relaxing. Teens were also keenly interested in local parks, aware of maintenance issues, and concerned about personal safety.
Experience is conceptualised in both academic and policy circles as a more-or-less direct effect of the design of the built environment. Drawing on findings from a research project that investigated people’s everyday experiences of designed urban environments in two UK towns, this paper suggests at least two reasons why sensory encounters between individuals and built environments cannot in fact be under- stood entirely as a consequence of the design features of those environments. Drawing from empirical analysis based on surveys, ethnographic ‘walk-alongs’ and photo-elicitation interviews, we argue that distinct senses of place do depend on the sensory experiencing of built environments. However, that experiencing is significantly mediated in two ways. First, it is mediated by bodily mobility: in particular, the walking practices specific to a particular built environment. Secondly, sensory experiences are intimately intertwined with perceptual memories that mediate the present moment of experience in various ways: by multiplying, judging and dulling the sensory encounter. In conclusion, it is argued that work on sensory urban experiencing needs to address more fully the diversity and paradoxes produced by different forms of mobility through, and perceptual memories of, built environments.
David J. Snepenger, Eric Gregg, Leann Murphy & Ryan O’Connell
In many communities tourists and residents share shopping spaces. These common areas offer a setting for understanding how the host and guest populations utilize and perceive a leisure locale at one point in the tourism lifecycle. An investigation of tourists and residents of a US city explored the use of and attitudes towards the traditional shopping district. Four segments were developed based on whether the consumer was a tourist or a local and whether this person was a heavy or light user of the shopping place. Findings demonstrate that information from these four groups enhances understanding of tourism lifecycle models.
Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design (2007)
Zhang, M. & Kang, J.
Soundscape is about relationships between the ear, human beings, sound environments, and society. Soundscape research is interdisciplinary. On the basis of a series of case studies in Europe and China and an intensive literature review, the soundscape description, evaluation, and creation in urban open spaces are systematically examined, in terms of four basic elements: sound, space, people, and environment. Factors affecting soundscape evaluation in urban open spaces, including acoustic - psychological - social characteristics of various sounds, acoustic effects of space boundaries and elements, social - demographic characteristics of users, and general physical - environmental conditions, are identified, and, consequently, a system for soundscape description is established. Potentials of creating and designing soundscape in urban spaces are then discussed in terms of sound and space.
This paper proposes an essentially new theory of urban space based on information theory and the laws of optics. The use of urban space is linked to the information field generated by surrounding surfaces, and on how easily the information can be received by pedestrians. Historical building exteriors usually present a piecewise concave, fractal aspect, which optimizes visual and acoustical signals that transmit information content. Successful urban spaces also offer tactile information from local structures meant for standing and sitting. The total information field in turn determines the optimal positioning of pedestrian paths and nodes. This complex interaction between human beings and the built environment, incredibly neglected in our times, explains why so many historical urban spaces provide an emotionally nourishing environment.
Journal of Architectural and Planning Research (2012)
Lee, Hyunjung, Min, Byungho, & Ohno, Ryuzo
This study strives to determine ways to increase the use of outdoor spaces, particularly spaces that have an abundance of natural elements, in environmentally friendly housing developments. Empirical data were obtained by observing residents' behaviors (445 observations) and interviewing 61 residents in Kuemhwa Greenvill, a new housing project in Giheung Sanggal, South Korea. The outdoor natural environments were classified into four categories: reserved natural environment, built environment with a natural appearance, built environment as a green buffer, and built environment with natural elements. The survey revealed that, typically, the natural environments were utilized less than the non-natural environments. Because natural environments did not support various outdoor activities, only persons in certain limited age groups (adults and adults with children) and small groups of one or two people used them. In particular, children's play activities and social gatherings rarely occurred in the natural environments. Apart from physical, psychological, and social accessibility issues, the residents' preferences for the use of non-natural environments were related to their needs and the physical features of the environments.
Urban designers are interested in the environmental qualities of places that make them better for walking, not only as settings for physical activity, but also as sensorial and social settings. Research in walkability lacks qualitative studies that address the microscale analyses of the environment. This paper is an empirical examination of the relationship of the physical, land-use, and social characteristics of the environment at the microscale to people’s behavior and perceptions toward walking. Using the data from surveys and interviews, this research emphasizes the integration of user perceptions and subjective measures to understand the impact of environmental characteristics on walking behavior on Main Streets. Adding to previous research, this study demonstrates the significance of social qualities in supporting walking. The findings expand our understanding of the hierarchy and criteria of walking needs and suggest that, given a safe and comfortable setting, people look for usefulness, sense of belonging and pleasurability as additional and distinct needs to enhance their walking experience.
Journal of Architectural and Planning Research (2002)
Robert Gifford, Donald W Hine, Werner Muller-Clemm, Kelly T. Shaw
Architects and laypersons experience buildings quite differently; this study investigated the physical and cognitive underpinnings of these differences. Laypersons and practicing architects assessed the global. aesthetic quality and six key cognitive properties (complexity, clarity, friendliness, originality, meaningfulness, and ruggedness) of 42 large contemporary buildings, and 59 physical features of each building were independently scored. Lens model analyses revealed how these physical features are interpreted differently by the two groups, which apparently leads them to experience different cognitive properties, which in turn leads to different aesthetic conclusions. However, the results also suggest how architects and laypersons might better understand each other.
Records on recovery after cholecystectomy of patients in a suburban Pennsylvania hospital between 1972 and 1981 were examined to determine whether assignment to a room with a window view of a natural setting might have restorative influences. Twenty-three surgical patients assigned to rooms with windows looking out on a natural scene had shorter postoperative hospital stays, received fewer negative evaluative comments in nurses' notes, and took fewer potent analgesics than 23 matched patients in similar rooms with windows facing a brick building wall.
The aim of this paper is to study how women’s privacy needs are met through the physical form of public spaces in both old and new urban designs, using as a case study the city of Nablus, Palestine, which has been significantly influenced by the culture of gender separation. The findings will help develop a better understanding of the relationship between women’s privacy and the physical form of public spaces and will enhance the development of public spaces that women can use comfortably and actively to participate in the urban life. An environmental approach based on the concept of behavioural setting was used to examine women’s privacy issues in the chosen public spaces. Direct observations and questionnaires were used in the fieldwork, in addition to interviews with women and relevant people who influence the women’s privacy. Maps (GIS), sketches and SPSS techniques were used to interpret the data.