Sadasivam Karuppannan & Alpana Sivam
Karuppannan, S. & Sivam, A. (1). Comparative analysis of utilisation of open space at neighbourhood level in three Asian cities: Singapore, Delhi and Kuala Lumpur. URBAN DESIGN International, 18(2), 145–164. http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/udi.2012.34
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.
The case studies reveal 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. The Singaporean case study represented very well-maintained and equipped public open spaces, with amenities and recreational facilities at various levels compared to Kuala Lumpur and Delhi which had a considerable amount of public open space at the cluster, precinct and neighbourhood levels, but not at the block level. The authors attribute this difference to poor local socioeconomic and climate conditions. This study also concludes that people’s perceptions of the provision, design, and size of public open spaces at various levels vary in cities and are based upon local ecology and municipal finances, levels of good management and maintenance, and the control of problems, such as crime and vandalism.
Description of method used in the article
Comparative urbanism is used as the theoretical framework by which to compare various contexts and to understand the utilisation of open space at neighbourhood level. Extensive interviews were conducted using composite group sampling to document the perceptions of people on various levels of public open space.
Of practical use