Emerging relationships between design and use of urban park spaces

Barbara Goličnik, Catharine Ward Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper describes patterns of use in public open space such as parks that indicate relationships between the design of parks and the detailed ways that users inhabit (or not) such places. It focuses particularly on the use of comparatively level and regularly mown grassed areas. It draws on a combination of behaviour-mapping and GIS supported techniques of spatial annotation and visualization, as applied to urban parks in two European cities, to reveal common patterns of behaviour that appear to be correlated with particular layouts and details. It demonstrates the value of the methodology in revealing relationships between design and use that are based on empirical evidence, and supporting the kind of detailed design guidance that can be of benefit for future design practitioners. It shows how guidance can be arrived at, based on the particulars of the case study sites and cities, and provides a starting point for further studies using the same methods. The value of the research is in helping designers be confident that layouts proposed for intended uses will, in practice serve those uses (and users) well and be likely to be used as predicted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-53
Number of pages16
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2010

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Public space
  • Park design
  • Behaviour mapping
  • Levels of use
  • GIS


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