ISSN: 2717-4417

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Design, Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Educational Sciences, Faculty of Humanities, Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University, Tehran, Iran.




Relevant key issues were extracted form users’ responses to an open-ended questionnaire and their application to a closed-ended questionnaire.
The environmental variables affecting the security of urban public spaces were documented and summarized.
The factors and criteria effective on users’ sense of security were extracted using exploratory factor analysis.

One of the most important components of environmental quality, environmental security plays an important role in the use of urban spaces. In fact, the feeling of fear and lack of security in urban environments, including parks, has turned into a problem in today’s societies. Parks are areas in cities where any citizen can spend their leisure time and enjoy park-based recreational activities. Many factors affecting the security of urban parks can be attributed to their design and physical conditions. Therefore, it is necessary to identify these factors and provide appropriate solutions to improve their conditions. Since an urban park needs a conscious design that provides the users’ satisfaction, it is necessary to consider their characteristics, which can be achieved through their participation.
Theoretical Framework
To explain the theoretical concept of security, two distinct dimensions are mentioned. The first is the objective dimension, which is evaluated using objective environmental and behavioral parameters, and the second is the mental dimension, which is understood based on the security of the community. Both dimensions can have a positive or negative effect on the other. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the two dimensions together in order to improve public security.
Since a comprehensive questionnaire was not found to measure the security of urban parks based on users’ preferences, a researcher-made questionnaire was prepared, and its validity and reliability were verified. The research method was qualitative and qualitative-quantitative. In the first step, the qualitative research method was used based on content analysis, and the questions of the open-ended questionnaire were implemented in textual form based on the contents of the experts’ statements. The components were obtained from content analyses of users’ responses to the semi-structured open-ended questionnaire, and the closed-ended questionnaire was developed on that basis. The final questionnaire was designed as a closed-ended one to quantify the variables faster and be capable of running on a larger scale. The questions had the structure of a four-point Likert scale, with the answers ranging from strong disagreement to strong agreement. The questionnaire was distributed among 250 visitors of Mellat Park, Tehran. Since the differences in the environmental, socio-economic, and physical characteristics of different places can give different senses of security or fear to citizens, a major park in Tehran (Mellat Park) was chosen for a case study. It extends over an area of about 34 hectares in Municipal District 3. The purpose of this study was to construct, normalize, and validate a security scale for urban parks from the users’ perspective.  
Results and Discussion
Content validity was verified through preliminary implementation, open interviews with users, and expert approval. In the preliminary step, reliability was measured using the internal coordination of the questions with Cronbach’s alpha. The final questionnaire was distributed among 250 park visitors. The results indicated that the questionnaire was valid and standard, and eight explanatory factors were obtained from the users’ preferences as the data obtained in SPSS 22 were analyzed using the exploratory factor analysis technique. These included artificial element design, control and surveillance, plant design, readability, physical accessibility, aesthetics, activity patterns, and space size and extent. From the users’ point of view, artificial element design was the most significant factor, followed by control and surveillance, plant design, readability, and physical accessibility, and aesthetics, activity patterns, and space size and extent were ranked next.
Understanding users’ perceptions of landscape design methods and considering their preferences and desires helps landscape designers with their jobs. It can be considered as a topic for future research how each of the obtained components can induce a feeling of fear or security in urban park users. Examples include specification of the relationship between vegetation or readability and the feeling of fear or the standard for each of the service elements, pieces of furniture, etc. Through presentation of a model, the hidden relationships between factors can be achieved, and a theoretical pattern composed of many different components can be examined both entirely and partially. Of course, it should be noted that none of these factors alone induces fear or security; rather, there are a number of factors that contribute to a complex interaction, such as personal characteristics (age, gender, etc.) and social characteristics (familiarity with the environment, solitary presence, frequency of presence, etc.), which can be investigated in future research.
This article was extracted from Soudabeh Gholipouri’s doctoral thesis, entitled Modeling the environmental security in urban parks based on users’ preferences, developed under the supervision of Dr. Jamal-e-Din MahdiNejad and advisory of Dr. Bahram Saleh Sedghpour at Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University.


Main Subjects

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