The humanistic meaning of urban squares: The case of Çayyolu Urban Square Project

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Architecture, Department of City and Regional Planning, Turkey

Approval Date: 2011




Urban public squares, within the context of public spaces, are essential components of cities because they provide spaces for social interaction. This helps sustain the humanization of the society through gathering, lingering and wandering through, and engaging together into various human activities and can make significant contributions to the cultural development of communities. In the last three decades, the concept of public space has been redefined within the context of urban space development leading to socio-spatial developments like social polarization and spatial fragmentation. Accordingly, new places like shopping malls, parking lots, heavy traffic roads have replaced traditional public spaces such as squares, plazas and neighborhood streets. These alternative public spaces, in many instances, are provided without taking into consideration the human aspects. The aim of this study is to extract humanistic design attributes that can be used in the production of a public square in the Çayyolu District in Ankara. To do that, the study explores the meaning of urban square as a public space through inhabitants’ eyes. Furthermore, it examines the socio-spatial components (regarding the behavioral, psychological, physical, visual-aesthetic, geographical and managerial aspects) of urban square and critically reflects on the design of the Çayyolu Urban Square Project (ÇUSP), with respect to human design principles through a comparative analysis of users’ and decision makers’ perceptions.