One of the main issues in visual analysis of urban spaces is their visibility. It is one of the main research interests in recent urban studies due to the development of technology and digital software. The results of most recent studies suggest that the physical visibility of urban spaces is closely connected to the possible behaviors occurring in them. Due to the fact that there are many different issues affecting different conditions of visibility and subsequently the perception of people, this article focuses specifically on urban squares to obtain more scientific and accurate results. In particular, having all the features of an actual urban square, the Sabzeh Meydan square which is located in the central area of Tehran is chosen as the case study. This square is visually analyzed by applying 3-dimensional isovist concept and studying its relation to other variables of population behaviors such as “pause and movement”, “individual and social behaviors” and “flow’s pace” considering the sex variable. For this purpose, the visibility map of the area was produced in GIS software and the relationship between the main variables of the study was examined by statistical analysis and correlation coefficients in SPSS.
This study clearly showed that visibility was associated with behavioral patterns and affected the groups using spaces. The results indicated that women preferred to pause in places with moderate visibility. In fact, what they prefer is that the place where they pause should not have a weak or a high visibility. On the other hand, the findings showed that men were more likely to pause in places where visibility was more than other parts. The findings also showed a significant relationship between pause and motion behavior patterns and visibility, but the significance was not strong. Based on the statistics, pause behaviors are most likely to occur in places with more visibility and movement behaviors occur more in places where there is less visibility. People prefer to stay and pause in places which provide more functionality for viewing the surroundings. Other results of this study showed a significant relationship between individual and social behaviors and visibility level. This relationship was stronger than that in other cases. Statistics indicated that social behaviors were performed in places with a better visibility than other places. Field observations also showed that when the level of visibility decreased, individual behaviors outweighed social ones. In this research, the relationship between social and individual behaviors in sitting places and visibility level was also studied. The findings showed that the sitting places where most individual behaviors occurred were often located in areas with relatively good visibility levels. The results of studying the relationship between velocity and visibility level showed a significant relationship between the two variables. This means that as the visibility of a space increases, the speed of movement decreases. Based on field observations, it can also be said that people travel faster in environments with less visibility. Therefore, in urban spaces where people’s speed should decrease, visibility should increase compared to other urban elements.