عنوان مقاله [English]
A public urban space is successful when it attracts the citizens. The climate and thermal comfort conditions are factors affecting the usage pattern of sidewalks in public urban spaces. In general, awareness of sensory information and understanding of their complex process is called perception. Psychological aspects and their impact on the evaluation of thermal comfort makes a different perception of thermal sensation. Adaptation is the most important psychological factor affecting thermal comfort perception. Thus, the present article tries to develop an empirical model based on the studies assessing thermal psychological adaptation that can be tested in the future researches on several urban spaces. The empirical model is constructed through a conceptualization process based on a study of the basics and successful experiences worldwide. The model’s accuracy was first improved through inquiring ideas from 27 experts in this field and, second, taking advantage of Delphi’s reciprocal method. In the next stage, the aspects, scales and the subscales in the empirical model were ranked based on analytic hierarchical method (AHP). Expert Choice was used to determine each scale’s weight relative to its counterpart. In fact, the empirical model was applied to evaluate the studied concept. The model has two parts: a part assessing sense of place and another part assessing the psychological adaptation of thermal comfort.
Based on the results, it can be argued that a model is necessary for blending the objective and subjective issues influencing the assessment of an individual’s adaptation for moving towards comfort in an urban space, because adaptation is a very important capability in enhancing the individuals’ presence in an urban space. Psychological reasons are the most important factors contributing to the adaptation enhancement. On the other hand, based on the studies conducted on the sense of place (that can be classified into various levels from alienation to devotion to place), such a sense can be effective in the creation of psychological adaptation that, in turn, is influential on the perceptions of comfort. Comfort is a multifaceted concept with many aspects that renders any research complicated. Thus, as an entry for such types of studies within the context of the urban design, this study attempts to concentrate only on one of its most important parts, i.e. thermal comfort. As it can be understood from a review of the global experiences in regard to thermal comfort perception, the thermal comfort perception and the thermal sense of individuals differ: the citizens can adapt themselves to the environmental comfort conditions for certain reasons (stemming from various levels of sense of place based on the findings of the current research), or, quite inversely, they could have lower adaptation threshold and leave the environment.
The empirical model designed for assessing the relationship between the sense of place and thermal psychological adaptation in an urban space consists of various levels that are influenced by the individual factors. Thus, making plans for managing citizens’ behaviors in the urban space is a factor more important than physical planning to enhance citizens’ perceived level of comfort.
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