The Assessment of Microclimatic Conditions, Users' Psychological Adaptation and Physical Aspects of the Space: Enhancing Spatial Quality of Outdoor Public Spaces (OPS)
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Outdoor Public Spaces (OPS) are of great necessity and importance to urban cities as they accommodate pedestrian traffic and outdoor activities, as they also contribute enormously to urban life and livability. It has been demonstrated through investigating thermal comfort conditions in OPS that a quantitative approach alone is inadequate in characterizing comfort conditions for outdoor public users’. The study revealed that although microclimate conditions are both a critical parameter for the use of outdoor spaces in the urban environment and strongly influence thermal sensation, they cannot fully account for the wide disparity between objective and subjective comfort evaluation, whereas, the role of psychological adaptation seems to become increasingly important. The research study was carried out using a systematic questionnaire and taking microclimatic measurements of air temperature, humidity and wind speed of the OPS at Al-Corniche and Aspire, Qatar. Furthermore, this thesis concentrates on the matter of psychological adaptation of the user. This includes naturalness of the place, expectations, experience, time of exposure, perceived control and environmental stimulation. Microclimatic monitoring, role of psychological adaptation, along with on-site observational mapping and visual material of the physical aspects of the OPS were used to identify and present the relative impact of each of these parameters and their relationship to one another. The initial results demonstrate that a purely quantitative approach is insufficient in describing comfort conditions outdoors, and an understanding of the dynamic human parameter is necessary in designing spaces for public use. Understanding the interrelationship between microclimatic conditions and the different factors of psychological adaptation would be important so as to assess their design role; whether design considerations would influence these parameters, or vice versa, whether they could influence design decisions. An awareness of these issues would be valuable to architects, planners and urban designers, by way of enriching the design possibilities with more favorable outdoor comfort conditions. Refinement of OPS for design purposes is examined with investigation into modification considerations of the environmental variables that are susceptible to control by urban design for increased user comfort.
- Urban Planning & Design [13 items ]