The Impact of Public Space Design on Users’ Activities

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Public spaces are increasingly playing an essential role in the social lives of Riyadh’s residents. This research introduces a theoretical framework to investigate the design elements of public spaces. The framework is applied to study two significant public spaces in Riyadh to deduce their associations to the spaces’ functionality. In addition to the visual study of the two spaces’ compositions, the research applies a hermeneutic phenomenology approach to observe the behavior of the spaces’ users and to explore the impact of design aspects on users’ activities. The findings link the quality of landscape elements, size, geometry, lighting, shading, outdoor furniture, enclosure and aesthetics of public spaces to active involvement of their users.