Urbani izziv Volume 13, No. 1, June 2002
(Methods and techniques)
Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia, Ljubljana, Slovenia
University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh, Great Britain
Observation and behavioural maps: Methods of researching public open spaces in cities
The paper presents some methods from a current research that investigates the effectiveness of public urban open space in meeting spatial dimensions and human needs. It discusses research techniques in environmental and behavioural research such as observation and behavioural mapping. Bechtel and associates describe observation as a method having five dimensions: behaviour, environment, time, observer and record of observation. A behavioural map is an observational tool for recording people’s behaviour. Both techniques are used in a case study that looks at public urban open spaces in the Edinburgh city centre. Because this research is in progress, the article does not include results. It represents the use of the method and the developed tools used for this particular case, presents and comments on observation and it’s recording in terms of an analytical tool in evaluating public urban open space. Public urban open space is seen as a complex phenomenon defined by the interplay of spatial and human dimensions, therefore the introduction discusses some general objectives of public urban open space, with regard to use and users.
behavioural mapping, Edinburgh, open public urban space