Children Interaction with place in outdoor Spaces of residential Complexes

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture and Urbanism, Tabriz Islamic Art University, Tabriz, Iran

2 Professor, School of Architecture, College of Fine Arts, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, College of Fine Arts, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Considering the dominance of public open space use, over the use of private open space of single-family housing, in large cities in Iran, an important issue in programming for designing open spaces of residential complexes is to facilitate the appropriate development of the children in open spaces. The present paper attempts to provide a flexible framework for tackling the challenge of the children interaction with place and converging the place-oriented and psychological approaches. The key question in the present research, therefore, is under what framework the environmental (objective) and psychological (subjective) drivers are balanced in order to enhance the children interaction with place in outdoor spaces of residential complexes. To answer the research question, first, a survey of the existing literature is conducted in the areas of the interactive behavior of children and place inquiry. The objective of this survey is to examine and analyze the existing concepts and theories in the field and use the results to found a basis for constructing the theoretical model for “Children interaction with place in outdoors of residential complexes” and to develop a foundation for analytical framework of the present paper. Then, in order to control and refine the theoretical framework and the influencing factors and indicators, a mixed-method research (qualitative-quantitative) is applied to examine and analyze the proposed framework in five residential complexes in Tabriz, Iran, selected to represent the three different typologies (linear, standing and periphery block) based on a systematic methodology. Finally, the connection between theoretical and empirical findings is examined and interpreted based on the results of previous stages of the research. The final research outcome of this project is a theoretical and analytical framework for “Children interaction with place in outdoor spaces of residential complexes”. Validating this theoretical framework in various block typologies of residential complexes, the research findings demonstrate a relatively identical pattern in correlation of environmental drivers with interactive drivers in appropriate places of two linear and standing blocks typology. This takes a different form in periphery block typology. It means non-physical drivers; possess more correlation with interactive drivers in appropriate places of two linear and standing blocks typology. In appropriate places of periphery block typology, however, physical drivers demonstrate more correlation with interactive drivers. Moreover, the research findings show an identical pattern, in inappropriate places of all block typologies, in correlation of environmental drivers with interactive drivers.  That is, non-physical drivers have more correlation with interactive ones. Therefore, in open space of residential complexes, the children interaction with daily life environment, and subsequently with place, is enhanced when a balance is established between environmental and psychological drivers. The theoretical and analytical framework of this dissertation has the potential to be used at macro-scale by environmental policy-makers and planners to achieve appropriate policies and strategies, at medium scale by executive managers to find the appropriate executive methods, and at micro-scale by designers to provide appropriate design for enhancement of child-place interaction in the realm of residential settings.


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