Characteristics and elements of urban open spaces based on social trust model to enhance social interactions A case study The yousef-abad neighborhood

Document Type : Research extracted From projects


1 Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Isfahan Art University, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Urban Planning, Faculty of Arts, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Geography, Humanities and Social Sciences Campus, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran

4 Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture and Art, University of Gilan , Rasht, Iran


The more the urban open space, as a container of urban interactions, provide more suitable conditions for the establishment of effective social relations among its members, the greater the possibility for social growth and the establishment of social trust for the residents of that society. This research was conducted to analyze and explain the effect of urban open spaces on interactions and social trust in the Yousefabad neighborhood of Tehran. The present research method is descriptive-analytical and factor analysis is used as a tool to measure the significance of indicators. In the first stage, interviews with experts were conducted using the snowball method and continued until reaching theoretical saturation with 10 experts. Then, to find key concepts using the content analysis method, open and axial coding was done. In two Delphi rounds, the experts answered the researcher's questionnaire. The results obtained from the questionnaire were subjected to the Q factor analysis and four classifications were obtained from it, which provided the basis for compiling the objective-content table for setting up the questionnaire of space users. In the second step, according to Klein's formula, based on the number of questions in the users' questionnaire, the sample size was calculated to be around 190 people. Space users were questioned using random and cluster sampling and data were evaluated in SPSS version 22 software using R factor analysis. The findings and results of the research show that the eight identified factors include; Sociability, spatial diversity, physical and climatic comfort, the relationship of interaction and social trust with providing environmental needs, recognizability, pedestrian accessibility, spatial flexibility, and psychological comfort with the formation of a cycle influence social trust
Extended Abstract
The importance of public spaces and their impact on improving the quality of urban life as the most accessible urban spaces, is increasingly understood and manifested every day. Creating connections and, as a result, social interactions are among the most important activities that take place in urban open spaces and potentially provide the ability to influence social trust. As a container of urban interactions, the more urban open spaces provide the best conditions for effective social relations of people, the more opportunities for social growth and the establishment of social trust for the inhabitants of that community. Statistics in our country show that social trust is declining at the national level as well as in the city of Tehran and its neighbourhoods. This indicates the low efficiency of social foundations that have not been able to find a proper place due to the changes and developments of the modern era. On the other hand, the failure of many urban programs to achieve goals is due to a lack of trust and, as a result, low public participation in the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs. The trend of urban development in big cities shows that residential neighborhoods have been exposed to losing of their long-standing personality and identity due to weak development. And the shortcomings that have been forgotten in recent decades need to be remedied. Yousef-Abad is one of the traditional neighbourhoods of Tehran metropolis, and since a large part of the population is old ones, it is predicted that the possibility of social interactions between citizens in the open spaces of this neighbourhood is more than other ones. This research aims to measure the impact of physical-spatial indicators on the level of trust and social participation of citizens in this neighbourhood.
The method of the present study is descriptive-analytical, and factor analysis has been used as a tool to assess the significance of the indicators. In the first stage, the experts were interviewed using the snowball method and continued until they reached theoretical saturation with ten experts. Then, to find key concepts, open and axial coding were performed using the content analysis method. In two rounds of Delphi, experts answered the researcher-made questionnaire. The results obtained from the questionnaire were analyzed by factor Q, and as a result, four classifications were obtained, which provided the basis for compiling a goal-content table to prepare a questionnaire for space users. In the second stage, according to Klein's formula based on the number of questions in the user questionnaire, the sample size was calculated to be about 190 people, and finally, 242 people answered the questionnaire. The questionnaires were answered by the residents of the desired sections in the group programs of neighbourhood's house. Space users were interviewed using random sampling and clustering, and the data were evaluated in SPSS software version 22 using factor R analysis.
Result and discussion
After rotating the data, the adequacy of sampling was measured by Bartlett's test of sphericity test. A score higher than 0.6 on the KMO test indicates adequate sample size. The number obtained from the questionnaires in the specified areas of the Yousef-Abad neighbourhood is equal to 0.889, which indicates the adequacy of the sample size. The sig of the Bartlett test is less than 0.05, which means that the correlation value can be calculated. Hence, to create a general pattern among the variables, it is possible to use the available factor analysis. Among the citizens' responses to the questionnaire, eight factors can be identified. The source of extracting these factors is the suggestions of previous studies in similar fields as well as the suggestions of space users in measuring the questionnaire and its validity. Identification of significant factors shows that for 60.121% of the respondents, a fact was commonly understood, and the remaining 39.879% refers to the individual point of view and specific tendencies of each person in the subject, meaning that the eight factors are serious and credible matters for about 60% of respondents.
The results show that the eight identified factors, including sociability, spatial diversity, physical and climatic comfort, the relationship between interaction and social trust with meeting the environmental needs, knowability, pedestrian accessibility, spatial flexibility and psychological comfort, with the formation of cycles affect social trust. In other words, the space provides the conditions for easy pedestrian access by providing physical and environmental comfort and readability, and easy recognition of the environment. People are attracted to space due to easy access, so the sociability of the environment is improved, which causes interaction and trust to grow. In addition, spatial diversity and flexibility also affect the sociability of the environment and alter the factor of interaction and trust by changing the degree of sociability. Hence, the relationships of the factors in the model become complete and meaningful over time. Sociability (eight items and Cronbach's alpha 0.762) and physical comfort (six items and Cronbach's alpha 0.819) show the highest reliability among the identified factors. In this way, opportunities are provided to form various types of communication and social interactions, which in turn increase social trust and participation. Hence, urban spaces that may have previously been meaningless to citizens become understandable and sociable by gaining environmental experience and active interaction. And be effective in attracting them to the pedestrian presence by providing a variety of activities.


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