Formulation ofDesign Criteria Based on Recognition and Comparison of User Patterns of Behavior, Emphasizing on the Role of Climate in UrbanPublic Spaces, Case Studies: Shahr-E- Kord and Bushehr

Document Type : Research Paper



Climate has always been one the main factors of designing urban spaces in Iran since past centuries. By analyzing urban spaces it can be concluded that different cities have different urban spaces due to climate differences. One of the main reasons of the differences in the type and orientation of urban spaces is the climate as one of the key factors in designing these areas. Regarding climate in designing is equivalent to involving the users of the space, basically because climate adjustments can encourage more people to use the designed spaces.Hence,it can be saidthat climatic spaces are humanistic spaces as well. Therefore, climate directly influenceculture and plays a decisive role both inthe body and behavior of theusers. Thus,it could have a very effective role in how people use or how they behave in designed spaces.
Materials andmethods
A mix of several methods has been used for more compatibility with research purposes. This used library documents and has a comparative-analyticalmethod. The basic dataand the research background information have been gathered through documentative method and from library resources. For the fieldwork, the descriptive method (describing the phenomenon) has been used. Then, people patterns of behaviors were studied by an interpretative-qualitative method in each climate to analyze and infer the discussions in order. And at last, a comparative method has been used to analyze the results in order to set out urban design criteria. In this comparative method, it was tried to compare people patterns of behavior in two cold- mountainous, and hot and humid climates, and to analyze its results to elicit criteria for urban space design considering the effects of climate on the user behaviors. In this research, the people behaviors were studied, analyzed and compared in two different seasons of the year (the hottest and the coldest seasons) by the use of serial photography.Thus, people different patterns of behaviors in different climates and the ways they use the spaces were investigated,by the observationa set of design criteria could be developed to be applied in the design/redesign of urban spaces to improve their qualities. 



Patterns of Behavior




















Urban design

Diagram (Bahrainy, 1375)
The theory
In general, people uses of urban spaces may have two stages:

Presence in urban space.

Tendency to continue to stay in the urban space.

There are two kinds of qualities in urban environment. First, the qualities which are the main requirements of people presence in public spaces, i.e. primary qualities. Second, the qualities encouraging people to stay in the space for a longer time. Meanwhile, there are some qualities like climatic comfort which playeffective role in both primary and secondary qualities. This very important factor is in full adaptation with human physical characteristics and is the main requirement of people presence in the space. It alsoplaysan undeniable role in the way people use the space and behave there. Climatic comfort can increase the number of opportunities to use the space. If the space is designed with consideration of all aspects, including the userbehaviors, it can be used by all people in various periods of time during the day, and in different seasons.
Results and discussion
Design guidelines in hot and humid climateare formulated. Theyemphasizeon the role of climate to determine people patterns of behavior.
 Here, regarding the achievements of local observations and the recognition, the design criteria are proposed at two different scales, the city scale and the site scale.

The city scale:

Location ofthe space in the shade: Thisis the most important factor affecting the use of space in hot and humid climates. If the open space includes shaded parts, people preference to stay there will increase. Therefore, locationin the shade can be considered as an important requirement forpeople use of space in this climate.
Other factor is natural ventilation and the space orientation parallel to the wind flows: This is the second factor affecting the use of public spaces in hot and humid climate. Natural ventilation of open spaces happens by the airflows coming from the sea. It helps the localsreduce the high unpleasant humidity in this climate, so it encourages passersby to stop and stay in the space.

The site scale:

To avoid designing vast urban open spaces in hot and humid climate.

Making orientation ofthe open spaces toward the sea to moderate the hot weather and reduce the humidity by the sea airflows. Local observations also verify that successful spaces in this climate have perpendicular orientation to the sea to benefit from its cool airflows for natural ventilation.

Formulating design guidelines in cold and mountainous climate emphasizes the role of climate todetermine people pattern of behavior:
Local observations in Shahr-E- Kord show that the two fallowing factors have determined therole ofpeople use of space in cold and mountainous climate.

Maximizing the direct sunshine: It is a positive point for the open spaces in the cold winter weather of mountainous climate, because it helps the space to be more welcoming and favorable for people.

Not to be windward: This factor also has direct effect on how people attend and behave in the space. The researcher’s observations and notes in cold and mountainous climate show that the spaces which are exposed to direct wind flows are not favorable for people.

The city scale:

For designing open spaces and its proposed land uses, it is better to locate attractive uses at the southern and east-southern side of the space, because it helps to provide favorable sunlight for the space during cold winter days and facilitatesthe use of space for people.

In the cold and mountainous climate, it is better to design urban spaces in form of small squares because it reduces the entrance of wind flows and provides people with climatic comfort. It must be mentioned that vast squares in this climate can benefit from the increased direct sunlight and heat.But the effect of the increased airflows in thesespaces is highly unfavorable and disturbs the climatic comfort. Thus,they are not recommended.

The site scale:

It is better to design crowded spaces as semi-open spaces, because enclosed and covered spaces are more favorable in all seasons for theirshelters from the sun, wind, rain and snow.

In cold climates, it is important to use types of plants which prevent spaces from undesired wind, while not casting shades during cold seasons, since trees can provide favorable shades for summer time.

The results and findings of this research are presented in a set of operational and applicable recommendations, some of which might seem unimportant.But they are undeniably essential. Simple solutions for ordinary problems of existing urban spaces can lead to significant improvements in the space vitality and people social life. William White expresses the extract of his long term studies in one sentence: “people seat where the seating exists.” This sentence might seem clear and typical, but it is very important and can notably change the life of a city. Thus, the simplicity of changes does not mean that they are inconsiderable. It might be possible to change the destination of a space simply by adding shelters and awnings or providing sunny spaces in cold and mountainous climates and shaded spaces in hot and humid ones.


Main Subjects

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