ISSN: 2717-4417

Document Type : Research Paper



The main objectives of urban designers is the creation of responsible urban space for all social groups by understanding the qualities and spatial needs in the city to operate in such a way as to promote environmental quality and create a suitable base for urban life. The basic function of the city lies in the abundance of community activities and public areas of the city, a place to display the different social lives of individuals and social groups, including women. Urban space does not only have a physical dimension but also social and symbolic aspects that are particularly relevant to the social construction of gender relations. Public space is where gender roles are carved, codified and fractured. Inevitably, gender causes differences. These differences appear in the needs, activities and subsequent behavior. Furthermore, any behavior needs its physical setting. Thus, creating the appropriate urban spaces that could be responsive to the needs of women and the relationship between the environment and their activities will affect conditions and rate of use of available urban spaces. This article describes how to design urban spaces with the aim of promoting women's needs in daily life and adresses their interests and experiences in the public domain. Since women’s major place of presence and activity has traditionally been in or near the home, neighborhood open space is chosen as a relevant case study. First, a literature review was conducted concerning gender and urban space, women’s activities and behavioral patterns approach, and on the basis of this theoretical framework, the research hypotheses are developed.  The research emphasizes on socio-cultural and behavioral factors. The specific goal of this research was to identify criteria that affect the factors affecting women’s activities in urban spaces. For this purpose, the criteria that were extracted from the studies including physical conditions, safety and security, activity time and location, accessability, sociability and population absorption were tested. Finally, behaviors and activities in urban place were analyzed by examining women's experience of public spaces. Both descriptive and analytical research methods were used in this research along with index technique for studying the criteria. The research methodology included a review of the principles and experiences, conceptualization, extraction of the criteria that were applied in the form of a questionnaire (Likert scale) to determine the sample size and statistically analyze a neighborhood called Poonak District (20 m Golestan Street), Tehran, Iran in 2009. The sample population consisted of 90 middle-class women over 18 years of age.  Finally, the recommended strategies in urban design are outlined. Thr results indicate that an increase in safety and security, time of activity, and sociability in urban areas lead to an increase in women’s activities. Furthermore, recommendations were provided for addressing changes to research and practice in order to better reflect and accommodate diverse experiences of public space.


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