عنوان مقاله [English]
One of the most influential trends in the production of contemporary public spaces is the growing tendency to control and monitor these spaces. However, this trend has so far been less studied. Public spaces are becoming increasingly controlled over time, as some critics claim. Hence, the assessment of public spaces control allows researchers to prevent intensification of the control while supervising and continuously monitoring this process. On the other hand, it is very important to address the issue of controlling the public space from the aspect of environmental quality. The extent to which our public spaces are encouraging differences is an important debate that affects the use of these spaces and their invitation. In this sense, a space which encourages freedom of use, behavior, and access, is a more open and democratic space. Accordingly, two major issues have been addressed in this research: The first is to measure the level of control of the public space and its methods in the parks of Tehran and the second is to examine the views of users of these parks on the issue of controlling the space.
The study area includes the parks of "Mellat", "Laleh", "Razi" and "Shahr" in Tehran, all of which are considered as downtown area parks. These parks were selected based on three criteria including regional functional scale, the central position in the city and size of the parks. The first part of this study is the empirical framework developed by Németh & Schmidt (2011). In this empirical method, public space control is measured through four dimensions including "rules and regulations", "Surveillance and policing", "access and territoriality" and "design and image". The first two dimensions include hard methods and the third and fourth dimensions include soft methods of space control. The method of data collection in this section was direct observation and field study. Thus, by going to the parks, the data for each variable were taken and then the variables were scored according to the intensity of their presence in each park. In the end, the final score for each park was calculated and the results were analyzed. To measure the second part, we have used a researcher-made questionnaire designed in the 5-point Likert scale. The components of the questionnaire include the degree of agreement with the four methods of control of the public space, as well as questions that measure the relationship between the control of the public space and the quality of the public space. The statistical population of this section was the users of these parks. In the sampling stage, 100 users of each park were questioned by "Random available" method. Also, interview and talk with some users were used as a complementary method of data collection.
Results and dicscusion
Based on the results of the first section, among the parks under study, the Mellat Park and Laleh Park have a low degree of control, and the Shahr Park and Razi Park are highly controlled. The first group of the parks has the "openness" characteristic. This feature encourages differences and provides more freedom for users. However, it makes the environment of the parks more vulnerable in terms of security considerations. In spite of the differences between the studied parks, in general it can be said that hard control methods have been used more than soft control methodsThe results of the second part showed that the level of public space control is directly related to the quality of the public space and the excessive control over the space, reduces its quality in variables such as the feeling of comfort, pleasure and the desire to re-use that space. On the contrary, increased control will increase the security of space. In addition, reviewing the views of users on the four dimensions of public space control was shows that in the context of laws and regulations, we are faced with a diversity of tastes and opinions among users of various parks. For this reason, we cannot speak of samepattern. But despite of the variation in interests, users of all four parks, with a high degree of agreement, wanted preventing the entry of marginal groups such as beggars, child labor and homeless people into the parks. The main reason for this is that people and users frequently fail to make the distinction between identity and behavior. Therefore, the identity of the marginal groups conveys abnormal behaviors in the minds of users, which leads to opposition with the presence of these groups in public spaces. In the context of policing and police, in all cases, users were opposed with these methods. But in terms of design and image, the average of all four parks was close, and users had high agreement with design techniques to control the spaces. Also, space control through territoriality methods is more acceptable to users than access restriction methods. In general, the users of the parks agree to apply more soft methods of control over the public space than hard methods. However, Tehran's parks are often controlled by hard methods.
The results of this research showed that there is a significant relationship between age and sex with user’s preferences in controlling public space. Thus, the age group of over 60 years old was more likely than the other groups to like the control of the public space. As the same way, women were more likely than men to agree with soft control methods. In terms of exacerbating control over the space, Razi Park users, unlike three other parks, demanded more control and monitoring over the park's space, due to the low security of the area where the park is located in. Finally, it should be acknowledged that the factors, including the variety of users, their interests and their different expectations of how much the public space is controlled, make it difficult to achieve a specific standard. Nevertheless, the process of production, management and change of public spaces should include a democratic and open process to consider the demands and interests of different individuals and groups as much as possible.
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