THE METHODOLOGY OF HUMAN GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH OF INTERACTION OF USERS WITH CITY PUBLIC SPACES
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine
Public space is a research object of various branches of science: architecture, urban planning, sociology, geography. What is the subject of human-geographical research in a public space perspective? Basing on the theory of space proposed by Henri Lefevre, we can define that human geography explores an interaction and an interpenetration of space and social environment – the chain process of a formation of the human in space and an influence on the space by a human activity. The reliability of the study results depends on the chosen methodology and research tools. Doubtless, there are different types of city public spaces. It is clear that the methodology of the research depends on the research questions and the properties of the research object. For our own research, we chose cases of public spaces with similar properties, which determines their comparability. One of the core aims was developing a methodology that will ensure the relevance of the results.
Understanding the dialectical nature of space is the starting point in developing a methodology. The main idea of the research is to evaluate not only the public space as a physical phenomenon with physical objects, or in the analysis of consumers’ evaluations of certain public spaces, but in identifying the mutual influences and the mutual representation between the social environment and the public space as a physical phenomenon.
For the survey, we chosed the following cases: Poshtova Square and St. Petra Sagaidachnogo, Taras Shevchenko Park, National Complex “Expocenter of Ukraine”, Obolonskay Bund, Teremky Park (Teremky-2) and courtyard at Akademika Zabolotny Street (Teremky-1).
The popular statement about the correlation between the location of the public space in the central part and its high quality is not confirmed by the results of our study (the case “Postal Square and St. Peter’s Sagaidachnogo Street” has a low result). The shopping and entertainment centre is not an absolute factor in the success and quality of the public space (case “Lybidska square and shopping centre”). It is clear from these observations that users evaluate public spaces based on their own perception of public space and personal needs, even if the characteristics are given in advance. Such logic of evaluating public spaces and interpreting the results explains why modernized public spaces have low ratings by users.
Analysis of users perception of public spaces in the peripheral part of Kiev by categories of “accessibility”, “use”, “image” and “integration” confirmed their need and indifference to the quality of public spaces. However, in order to study the implementation of the social context in the public space as a physical phenomenon through specific daily lively practices. It is necessary to scan detailly the various structures of the local community (economic structure by income level, age structure, sex structure, duration of residence, etc.) and conduct several in-depth interviews for each object.
public space, city, human geographical research, methodology, Kyiv.
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Palchuk M. (2017) The methodology of human geographical research of interaction of users with city public spaces. Visnyk Kyivskogo natsionalnogo universytetu, Geografiya [Bulletin of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Geography], 3-4 (68-69), 157-160 (in Ukrainian, abstr. in English).