Current Urban Studies
2013. Vol.1, No.4, 102-109
Published Online December 2013 in SciRes (http://www.scirp.org/journal/cus) http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/cus.2013.14011
Assessing Observation Methods for Landscape
Planning Practice in Rural Villages
Barbora Lipovská1, Roberta Štěpánková2
1Horticulture and Landscape Engineering Faculty, Slovak University of Agriculture, Nitra, Slovakia
2Department of Garden and Land Architecture, Horticulture and Landscape Engineering Faculty,
Slovak University of Agriculture, Nitra, Slovakia
Received July 23rd, 2013; revised August 25th, 2013; accepted September 2nd, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Barbora Lipovská, Roberta Štěpánková. This is an open access article distributed under the
Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any
medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
In recent years, people’s behaviour has become attractive not only for psychologists and sociologists but
also for urban planners, architects, landscape architects and all those involved in designing people’s envi-
ronment. Community has its own interest in the site that we should consider. This paper identifies people-
space relations and reflects on the implications from theory and practice in landscape architecture, in rela-
tion to the use and potential physical change to public open space in rural settlements. As far as is known,
there are no specific methodologies for assessing the use of rural public areas—public spaces in villages.
This paper presents observation methodology providing information of the form of public spaces, their
users and how public spaces are used. These surveys are important for landscape architects who design
public spaces not just with vegetation but with hard landscape features (such as outdoor furniture, paths,
Keywords: Observation Methods; Rural Public Spaces; Community; Design; Quality; Landscape Planning
In the past decade, social goals have become secondary to
economic motivation (Carr, 1992). The empirical basis for
much design decision-making is lacking (Forsyth, 2007; Frick,
2007) and new techniques that offer more reliable ways of pre-
dicting and understanding use can be valuable tools (e.g.
Thwaites et al., 2005; Porta et al., 2008, 2009). The research
described here is an attempt to design the observation method-
ology for designing public spaces in landscape planning praxis.
This paper explores the effectiveness of direct observation
methods and described the obtained information and their value
for assessing public spaces and argues for more comprehensive
ways of looking at the usage-design relationship.
Social Understanding of Public Spaces
The public space is a social space such as town square that is
generally open and accessible (Štěpánková et al., 2012). Public
space is space we share with strangers, people outside our im-
mediate communities of relatives, friends, or work associates. It
is space for politics, religion, commerce, sport; space for peace-
ful coexistence and impersonal encounter. The character of
public space expresses our public life, civic culture, and every-
day discourse (Madanipour, 1996). For Carmona (2003) is pub-
lic space a discretionary environment: people have to use these
spaces, but conceivably could choose which public spaces to
use. If they are to become peopled and animated, these spaces
must offer what people want, in an attractive and safe environ-
ment (Lynch, 1960, 1984).
Public space design has a special responsibility to understand
and serve the public good, which is only partly a matter of aes-
thetics (Carr, 1992). When designs are not grounded in social
understanding, they may fall back on the relative certainties of
geometry, in preference to the apparent vagaries of use and
meaning (Carmona, 2003).
The fact that society and space are clearly related was the
main point of the planner Patrick Geddes. He taught that before
attempting to change a place, one must seek out its essential
character on foot in order to understand its patterns of move-
ments, its social dynamics, history and traditions, its environ-
mental possibilities (Hough, 1990). In Germany before the
Second World War, Martha Muchow (1966) started to apply
observation methodologies. Her approach was based on studies
of living space for urban children in Hamburg. “The area has
been observed in a limited (specified) time and the behaviour of
all children had been caught almost as illuminated by a
flashbulb. By this flashbulb method, we can create a momen-
tary image that shows who is using a public space, and in which
part of the space the activity is located. The order of snapshots
gives us a representation of how, where and by whom is public
space used (Koll, 2009).
Environment-behaviour research that uses behaviour map-
ping as a way of understanding the interaction between people
and place has been undertaken for several decades (Ittelsson,
1970). Beginning in the 1960s researches such as Jane Jacobs
(1962), Kevin Lynch (1960, 1984), William H. Whyte (1980),
B. LIPOVSKÁ, R. ŠTĚPÁNKOVÁ
Clare Cooper Marcus and Francis (1998) and the Danish de-
signer Jan Gehl (2000, 1996) emphasized the need to base ur-
ban design on study of how people actually experience and use
urban environments. Observation was seen as a method “with a
very limited investment of time the investigators can achieve
considerable insight into the actual use of designed places”
(Cooper Marcus & Francis, 1998: 346). A new discipline of
environmental design emerged; devoted to researching how
built environments work for people (Wheeler, 2004) and to
demonstrate their association with particular sites (Bechtel et al.,
An American urbanist, organizational analyst, journalist and
people-watcher, William H. Whyte (1980), studied human be-
haviour in urban settings. He observed and film analysed plazas,
urban streets, parks and other open spaces in New York City.
Whyte walked the city streets for more than 16 years. As unob-
trusively as possible, he watched people and used time-lapse
photography to chart the meanderings of pedestrians. What
emerged through his intuitive analysis is an extremely human,
often amusing view of what is staggeringly obvious about peo-
ple’s behaviour in public spaces, but seemingly invisible to the
unobservant (PPS, 2001).
In 1984 Francis (1984) presented a method of downtown and
neighbourhood planning which considered the importance of
traffic mapping, parking problems and pedestrian flow mapping.
activity mapping as useful information for planning process
was proved in Davis, California (USA) as a new design solu-
tion based on the activity analyses.
Another urban pioneer observing public spaces and people’s
behaviour is the Danish architect and city planner Jan Gehl. In
his pioneering book Life between Buildings: Using Public
Space Gehl (2000) took a remarkably perceptive look at differ-
ent types of outdoor spaces and their social uses. What is most
needed, he argued, is an increase in optional activities taking
place in the public realm. The number and variety of human
interactions, especially chance meetings in public space, was in
his view the way to a healthier urban community. Analyzing
public spaces within Copenhagen, he found places such as the
Stroget (one of Europe’s pioneering pedestrian streets) and the
Tivoli Gardens particularly conductive to social life (Gehl &
Gemzoe, 1996). Although many of Gehl’s observations may
seem common sense today, they then represented a major de-
parture from modernist urban design practices in which abstract
architectural principles, rather than careful observation of how
people actually use places, often dictated urban form. Behav-
iour observation is also described by Wheeler (2004), as the
one of the methods to provide factual information for improved
urban design. According to Whyte (1980) by observing what
people do, rather than just listening to what they say, is de-
signer able to put an end to some of the deep-seated and de-
structive myths about what people want from their cities and
public spaces. As the Project for Public Spaces (2001) advises,
when you observe a space you learn about how it is actually
used, rather than how you think it is used. Šilhánková et al.
(2006) argues that through the analysis of behaviour mapping it
is possible to determine human activities performed in public
space and what kind of conditions are necessary to prevent and
develop these activities. Based on the results of this analysis it
is possible to design the outdoor furniture such as benches,
trash cans, clocks, advertising posters, etc. and its arrangement
in response to human activities and needs. Recommendations to
analyze human behaviour (movement of pedestrians, the overall
atmosphere of the centres where people meet and the place
where most activity takes place) are mentioned also in the
methodology for assessing public spaces discussed by Chap-
man and Larkham (1992).
Observation of Public Spaces
Gehl’s methodology was first mentioned in his book: Life
between Buildings. This was developed and applied to public
spaces in London (2004) in order to improve the quality of
public spaces and public life. This methodology was designed
by Gehl architects. The purpose of the observations was to de-
termine how and by whom these public spaces are used and
what facilities are provided for its users. Observations of public
spaces were carried out in selected public spaces for 15 minutes
every hour between 10.00 and 22.00. Activities, gender and the
age of people were recorded from one place. The survey loca-
tions were chosen to provide the best possible overview of pe-
destrian traffic and have been determined in the initial public
space analysis. Positions were recorded on prepared maps. Dur-
ing the observation were recorded gender (male, female), age
(age groups: 0 - 6, 7 - 14, 15 - 30, 31 - 64, 65 and over), and
activities (not pre-defined).
The methodology of operational improvement of public
spaces developed by Vladimíra Šilhánková et al. (2006) is
based on the principles of direct observation. This comes from
Gehl’s (2000) methodology, although edited and adapted. It
evaluates the character and functions of public spaces and was
proved in the creation of public spaces in Hradec Králové (CZ).
The first part of the methodology focuses on the assessment of
the character and quality of public spaces. The second focuses
on the behaviour mapping in public spaces. Observations of
selected public spaces were carried out for 20 minutes every
hour. Activities, gender and the age of people were recorded
during the walk from one site of public space to another. Fre-
quency between the observations during the day in one public
area was, on average every hour and depended on its type and
the frequency of use. Šilhánková et al. (2006) use 3 types of
forms where are observations recorded and summed up. During
the observation the following data were recorded: gender, age
(age groups: 0 - 6, 7 - 18, 19 - 60, 61 and over), activities (pre-
defined: sitting, standing, eating, talking, walking with dog,
shopping, looking to the shop windows, and other activities).
Material and Methods
The research described here is part of the work undertaken
for a PhD in Landscape architecture (Lipovská, 2011) which
explored the observation methods and their usage in landscape
planning praxis. In this qualitative study data was obtained
through direct observation in Veľké Zálužie village in Slovakia,
11 kw away from Nitra city—the 5th largest city in Slovakia.
The village has population of 4052 inhabitants.
No specific methodologies assessing the use of rural public
areas—public spaces in villages—have been found. Therefore
methodologies that analyse the quality and usage of public
spaces in cities developed by Gehl (2000) and Šilhánková et al.
(2006) have been used to characterize gender, age and activity
level of community in rural settlement (see Table 1) and their
potential use for landscape planning praxis have been assessed.
These methodologies have been selected because there is a
step-by-step manual of the observation process for the public
spaces of cities that have been studied.
Open Access 103
B. LIPOVSKÁ, R. ŠTĚPÁNKOVÁ
Comparison of the methodologies.
Part of the
Jan Gehl (2004) Vladimíra Šilhánková
et al. (1996)
Public life (Second part of the methodology)
time 15 minutes 20 minutes
Observation by walking
from one site of the area
to another site.
Based on information
was developed simple
form to record notes
Forms include the
gender, age and
Forms includes number
of group, gender, age,
activities- people are
observed as a group
Age groups 0 - 6, 7 - 14, 15 - 30,
31 - 64, 65 and more
0 - 6, 7 - 18, 19 - 60,
61 and more
Activities No pre-defined
Pre-defined (sitting, standing
in raw, eating, talking,
walking with dog, shop
looking to the shop windows,
and other activities)
movement Yes (to map) Yes (to map)
From 10 am to
10 pm—Every hour
defined nice weather
defined 2 seasons
Time schedule not
day and weekend
not defined the weather
not defined seasons
Case Study Village—Veľké Zálužie
The tool is based on momentary time sampling to make sys-
tematic observations of target-areas. Target-areas are predeter-
mined observation areas, used and visited by people. Three
central public spaces were chosen to allow observation as many
people as possible (see Figures 1 and 2) and were selected of
different sizes and location. A typology of selected public
spaces was characterized by Šilhánková et al. (2006) as square,
street, vegetation area or other area (such as a parking lot).
Rínok Street (1) begins at a crossroad in the front of the en-
trance to the psychiatric hospital and ends on the main street
crossroad. Based on the street profile, Rinok Street could be
divided in two parts; from the clinic crossroad to the area in
front of the church (1st part) and from the area in front of the
church to main street crossroad (2nd part). The first part of the
street is characterized by pavement on sides, wide front gardens
and green areas between the pavements and the houses. Along
the road is planted an alley of trees that ends at the area in front
of the church. From there towards the main road (second part of
the street) the street is without pavement, and front gardens are
not so wide. At the end of this part, front gardens are used as
parking spaces and houses are closer to the road.
The area of the Main Street (2) begins at the crossroad with
Rínok Street (1) (opposite the post office) and ends behind the
Cadastral map of Veľké Zálužie village.
grocery shop (near the bus station). It is one of the principal and
most frequented streets in the village. The main road cuts the
street and whole village in half and it is a big barrier for pedes-
trian and cyclists. The observed area has pavement only on one
side, where a new bus stop is located. The other side of the
street has a bus stop with no pavement and no appropriate sur-
face for pedestrians. Shops, municipality and all-important ser-
vices are located along this street.
The area in front of the grocery shop (3) is located in the
centre of the village, close to the main road, which surrounds it
from the south. Near the main road is a green area with a
grassed surface, planted mainly with coniferous trees. There is
a pavement between the green area and the shop. The area
serves as an unorganized parking area.
The approach was developed to collect data that would dem-
onstrate how daily use of public open spaces related to design
of such spaces and what activities are characteristic for them.
The first phase involved initial site observation to assess the
areas involved in observation and to analyse the quality of pub-
lic space. Initial observation also collected information on the
range of activities, to allow for preparation of detailed data col-
The detailed data collection for each public space involved
systematic observations for four days—2 week days in May
2010, June 2010, and 2 weekend days in July 2010 and August
2010 for 15 minutes every hour between 8:00 to 20:00. These
months were chosen as a time when the weather was warm and
pleasant for outdoor activities. The timings of observation were
chosen to capture different patterns of use at different times of
day and on different times of week. Data were recorded into
prepared forms (see Table 2).
The direct observation involved a systematic walking at the
B. LIPOVSKÁ, R. ŠTĚPÁNKOVÁ
Open Access 105
Public life observation form.
part: date: time: observer: no.
sex age activity
M F 0/6 7/14 15/3031/64 65< standing talking passing walkingsitting on benchride the bike working otside other activity
Selected public spaces in Veľké Zálužie.
site. The observation form (see Table 2) records peoples’ ac-
tivities, gender and estimated age group. Age groups were di-
vided into four groups (0 - 6, 7 - 14, 15 - 30, 31 - 64, 65 and
more). One person could be recorded with more than one activ-
ity. Activities were divided in three groups after observation
identified their character. They were characterized using the
activity description listed by Gehl and Gemzoe (1996) as nec-
essary activities, optional activities and social activities. Nec-
essary activities occur regardless of the quality of the physical
environment because people are compelled to carry them out
(such as going to school, waiting for the bus, shopping and
going to work). The Optional activities are those which people
are tempted to do when climatic conditions, surroundings and
the place are generally inviting and attractive. Social activities
occur whenever people move about in the same spaces. These
may include watching, listening, and interacting with other
people, passive and active participation.
Observation notes were included in the observation form.
They were done immediately after the observation and com-
prised description of setting, people, behaviour, public space,
everything that happened, the place where most social activities
happened, and the observer’s reflective comments on observa-
tion. The weather condition—temperature, wind, dryness and
sunshine—for each observation period was also recorded.
As an observer is important to keep in mind that the most
important behavioural principle during the observation is to be
discreet. Try not to stand out or to affect the natural flow of
activity (Jorgensen, 1989). One way to do this is to behave in a
way similar to the people around you. Therefore, I recommend
mask the observation forms (with the newspapers for example)
or watch the activities from car or from restaurant (pub) terrace
or coffee shop. According to Spradley (1980) when we observe
people on public spaces the obtrusiveness is limited and the
observed visibility is reduced. Observation may be done indi-
vidually, in pairs, and in teams—whichever arrangement is
most appropriate for covering the locations and topics at issue.
On the basis of direct observation we obtained data assessing
the quality of selected public spaces and their usage. All three
selected public spaces are within walking distance 400 m and in
terms of their importance for the people, all public spaces are
significant for whole village and are used by people everyday.
Quality of Public Space
Vegetation in the village is presented in the form of private,
semi-public and public green spaces that represented at least
and with mainly aesthetic nature. The green areas include
mainly evergreen coniferous trees that were planted in the 50s
and 60s years, which despite of good maintenance have static
and anaesthetic look. Public greenery in the village is presented
B. LIPOVSKÁ, R. ŠTĚPÁNKOVÁ
in form of green areas, especially around the monuments and
the memorials or as grass strips with planting along the road
and in front of houses. Strips of grass are usually interrupted in
front of the each house by concrete to provide an access for
Direct observation of the quality of public space confirmed
that the village has two types of seating possibilities: secondary
seating and private seating. Both of them are located on the
Main Street (2), where was observed that people use the con
crete planters and low concrete fences as places to sit. On the
main street were also observed the private benches of local ice
cream shop. On the Rínok Street (1) or on the Area in front of
the shop (3) people also use the low concrete fences as a sec-
ondary seating possibility.
Local people drive cars to groceries, shops, restaurants or to
church. The car phenomenon is multiplied by oversized main
road in the village. Asphalt and open public spaces in the earlier
morning and evening hours serve as unorganized parking places
Observation proved, that cars clash with pedestrians mainly on
Main Street (3) where shops are located on both side with nar-
row pathways. In a village is also evident the cyclist transporta-
tion according to observations.
No parking areas along the street and any permission to stop
the car allow the stakeholders to stop the car directly in front of
the shop or kiosk entrance (Figure 3). Figure 4 shows a group
of teenagers gathering on the Main Street (2) near the bus sta-
tion that serves also as the public bench and provide the protec-
tion against the rain or sun. Observation has proven that this
place is chosen quite often for talking or sitting and observing
the other people. Although the quality of public space is be-
cause of the missing benches and narrow pathways not good,
people use this place and many social activities occur here.
The empirical evidence about usage and spatial relationships
in the chosen public spaces is discussed on the basis of patterns
observed on a particular day or on the basis of notes that were
taken during the observation. Chart 1 shows the patterns of
public space use during the week and weekend days.
A total of 3450 individuals were observed in selected streets
and squares during four days and 4508 activities were recorded.
Main Street (2) was the most common area found (40%), fol-
lowed by Rínok Street (1) (35%). A total of 1420 inhabitants
were observed on public spaces during the weekday (65%
women) and 2030 on weekends (60% women). Individuals in
Main Street (2) were more sedentary and acting more social
than in Rínok Street (1) or in the area in front of the grocery
shop (3). Men and women use public spaces in a balanced way
and the total number of activities is divided between men and
women equally. More women (46%) were observed talking and
standing on the Main Street (2) than in Rínok Street (1) (34%).
Women use public spaces more often during the weekends and
the analysis of the activities for each gender shows that women
tend to more perform the optional activities. Men, on the basis
of observations perform more necessary activities than women.
Social activities were observed without significant differences.
Village people use the central public spaces daily. People
pass them on their way to home from work, to a restaurant or
pub, shops, etc. This is confirmed by the results of the observa-
tion, when there was an increased concentration of citizens’ in
the afternoon (after 14.00). Daily records of observed people
The car is King. To buy cigarettes a man parked his car in front of the
Meeting point for school girls close to bus station on main street.
shows that most observed activities were necessary activities,
with the largest representation of the passing area activity. Op-
tional activities were recorded mostly on the Main Street (2).
This fact confirms that the main streets are still seen as the main
vein of the village. Although the observed Main Street (2)
serves mainly to passing cars, activities such as cycling or roll-
er-skating were observed. This could be explained that in peo-
ples’ mind the village streets are still seen as safe places for
children. Although on the street are any public seating opportu-
nities, people use this place for social activities such as talking.
The examination of all three observed places reveals that
talking was the only social activity, which was recorded very
often (on at least 70% of observed social activities). Different
groups in terms of size, age and gender mix were recorded but
the size of the talking groups was no more than 4 people. Big
groups were typical for age groups 8 - 15 (Figure 5). Women
were more talkative than men and usually formed the group of
three persons. Pedestrians’ meeting and talking points are lo-
cated off the sidewalks, but on the paths of movement of pe-
destrians. This meeting places could be characterized as a
pontaneous meeting place, which, even though unorganized s
B. LIPOVSKÁ, R. ŠTĚPÁNKOVÁ
Open Access 107
Numbers and times of week and weekend observed people in selected public spaces (SPSS program).
Adolescents aged 15 - 30 years using the public spaces, like
other older age groups. This age group is not completely reliant
on public spaces in rural settlements. Their movement radius is
larger. People in this age attend high school or university out-
side the village and from 18 tich years, thanks to the driving
license and the car can move around freely. Age group 31 - 64
encompasses a number of social statuses, from single men and
women, married women and married men, unmarried and di-
vorced mothers, working men and women and mothers on ma-
ternity leave. It includes the unemployed, people who spend all
day in the villages well. Everyone is included in several status-
es, which also affects the use of public space. In these cases is
preferred universal design, which should be aimed to women
and their needs. Women in this age prefer social and optional
activities on public spaces more than men, who prefer neces-
sary activities. People in the age group 65 and over are quite in
the same situation as the group 7 - 14. The possibility to travel
freely outside of the village is limited and people are dependent
on public life in the village. They prefer public places where
there are other people in order to contact them or observed
them. This fact is confirmed by the observation when this age
group performed social activities such as talking and observing
the surroundings. Social activities in the areas of squares and
streets are common as well as in rural areas. This finding dem-
onstrates that rural public spaces are becoming more social and
intimate, as a city and people have to come closer. This fact
should also be used in planning public spaces, which can be
more personal in the countryside than in town.
Chatting point close to the area in front of the grocery shop he car is King.
To buy cigarettes a man parked his car in front of the kiosk.
place there is always meeting place in a certain place in a public
On the method of direct observation and comparison of re-
sults from studies that have been made in the urban environ-
ment, we can conclude that people in rural areas use public
spaces, like in cities. Children under 6 years use public spaces
usually accompanied by an adult, because the ability of inde-
pendent movement is limited. Children in the age group of 7 -
14 years are able to move in the village without any support. In
addition to the bus they haven’t any another choice to inde-
pendent movement outside the village. This age group is fully
dependent on public life at local public places. Observation
shows that these children prefer isolated public spaces that are
protected from direct view of other people. Observation con-
firmed the theory that boys in this age use public space differ-
ently than girls. While boys prefer collective and sports games,
girls use public spaces rather for sitting and talking activities.
In recent years, people’s behaviour has become attractive not
only for psychologists and sociologists but also for urban plan-
ners, architects, landscape architects and all those involved in
designing people’s environment. Community has its own inter-
est in the site that we should consider. This paper identifies
people-space relations and reflects on the implications from
theory and practice in landscape architecture, in relation to the
use and potentially physical change to public open space in
rural settlements. It aims to show that people should matter first
B. LIPOVSKÁ, R. ŠTĚPÁNKOVÁ
when making good outdoor public places. In designing public
spaces in people-friendly ways we design in a philosophy of
sustainable development, because people do not have to move
to bigger cities for public interaction and engagement. By using
the observation methodology we can obtain information about
the users of public spaces (age and gender) and how public
spaces are used (activities).
Not many villages have statistics on users of public spaces
and the existence of a document that analyses the community
from this perspective could be helpful in planning process.
Based on the results of direct observation there is no difference
in using public spaces for men and women and the level of
social life in the Veľké Zálužie village is good and public
spaces have the potential to be used and visited by people for
purpose of social activities. Thanks to high traffic and location,
the central public spaces have the greater potential and oppor-
tunity to attract more people. Seats are important elements in
public places and their lack in the public space could change
the place into transition zone with only a few spots where peo-
ple stop and talk. Well-designed and located seats create resting
places, people stay longer in public place and quality of public
life is rising. Exterior seats have also economic benefits for
surrounding buildings. Sitting on the cafes’ or restaurants’ ter-
races, have the same effect for improving the quality of public
life as the public seating. While people are sitting in private
places, their activities extend to public places. From this per-
spective, the physical condition of selected public spaces (tar-
get-areas) was evaluated as sufficient.
As landscape architects we design public spaces not just with
vegetation but with the features of small architecture (such as
outdoor furniture, paths, and playgrounds) as well. We affect
not just an aesthetic and ecologic situation but also the social
quality of public space. We enter into the public lives of the
inhabitant and the information obtained from direct observation
method is useful as a dialogue between community and de-
signer. Their possible use for landscape architects could be in:
The use of public spaces (How is public space used and by
whom?)—is known the number of people, their age, their
For location of roads and paved areas and character of their
surface (Are the paths and routes suitable for everybody?
Do we have enough pavements?)—was observed how and
where people move, the age of the people using the public
space, disabled people.
The number, shape and location of rest areas and their
equipment (Are there enough resting seating and observing
opportunities? Is there shelter to protect from sunlight?)—is
known what kind of activities taking place on public space
and if they need special equipment or places, is known who
visits the public space.
The shelters, benches and rest areas are important for the
quality of public life.
Location of green areas and playgrounds—is known where
people move and what places are most visited. This infor-
mation is helpful for design of green areas that should be
visited by local people.
In the design of active sites and their target groups such as
children’s playgrounds, playgrounds for teenagers, or sport
areas for seniors (Are there enough opportunities for crea-
tive and exploratory activities?)
Selection and location of plants and the overall visual
modification site of public space (Is there shade to protect
people from bright sunlight?)—distribution of plants and
vegetation could help to develop some activities and resting
areas, especially those with natural character. Under the
shade of the trees you can find a place for some activities,
especially in hot summer days.
Monitoring quality of public space—based on activities and
the number of people who visit the public space we can
evaluate the public space as having higher or lesser impor-
tance for inhabitants. Most important public spaces, that
create a place for social and optional activities, will be as-
sessed as public spaces with social importance and their fu-
ture renovation will have to take account of the current ac-
We can create an activity map: Showing where people do
things, which places they visit. This is useful for planning
To indicate the principles of future improvement—it can
assist in the clearer definition of the design brief and point
the way to design solutions.
The paper was created with the support of the Scientific
Grant Agency VEGA under the project VEGA 1/0769/12 Crea-
tion of sustainable public spaces of rural settlements by using
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