A Comparative Study between two Public Spaces, the Park of Behesht-e-Madaran, as a Specific Public Space for Women and the Park of Ab-o-Atash in Tehran

Document Type : Research Paper



Urban public spaces are the most important instruments to strengthen the participation of civil society as an arena of all groups both men and women. Women as half of the public spaces users should use urban public spaces as well as men easily and they must feel comfortable in these kinds of places. However, experiences and also the result of researches have shown that women do not benefit equally from urban public spaces with men and some limitations diminish their presence in public spaces. As one of the women's concerns for using public spaces is having access to suitable and secure spaces. Considering that men and women's behavior patterns and their understandings of environments are different, their needs and expectations of the public spaces are different. Lack of the attention to these differences leads women to reducing the presence of these groups of society in urban public spaces. Creating special spaces for women (with an emphasis on women's park) in Tehran city and some of the big cities in Iran, is a new approach for making women feel satisfied and secure in urban public spaces. By separating of men and women in public spaces and making facilities and dedicated services tries to meet the needs and reducing limitations of women. Whereas, the creation of spaces for women has much social and economic costs, investigating these spaces are necessary to figure out how these special places meet the women's needs and evaluations in comparison with other inclusive public spaces. Also investigating how women use these places in comparison with the other public spaces helps to access accurate results to answer the research's questions. For achieving this goal, after studying of the concepts of successful public spaces, the needs and constraints of women in urban public spaces, some different criteria of successful public spaces with compatibility with women's need has been assessed. For measurement of these criteria one woman only space (Behesht –e-Madaran Park) and one normal public space (Ab – o Atash Park) has been studied. For achieving the best results, the qualitative and quantitative analysis (using SPSS and EXCEL software) is being used. The results indicate that despite the stated goals of creating these environments and the regional role of Behesht – e Madaran Park, this park has acted in local scale and has decreased to a functional space for sports and health activities for women with free covering. Also, due to women's constraints in social and voluntary activities, (because of ethic of care of women) their use of Specific public space for women reduces their presence in the other public spaces and diminishes their role in the city. So, it seems that Specific public spaces for women have covered some part of women's needs (exercises and physical activities). However, it has been faced with difficulties and restrictions in women's social needs interaction with different age and gender. Thus, creation of proper facilities for women in inclusive public spaces may be a better approach for women to participate in urban public space.