City, Space and Publicness: Perceptions and Experiences in The Case of Isparta

GÜL H., Negiz N., EFE S.

3rd World Multidisciplinary Civil Engineering, Architecture, Urban Planning Symposium (WMCAUS), Prague, Czech Republic, 18 - 22 June 2018, vol.471 identifier identifier


Cities has been the bedrocks of state as an organized form of societies in the process of development of civilizations. The German saying "urban air makes individuals free-stadt luft macht frei" emphasizes the importance of cities in the lives of societies and the social lives of humans. Streets, squares, parks, urban open spaces are the areas of personal and group freedom and relations or conflict and collaboration where urban dwellers come together, meet and get closer, express themselves individually or together with others, breed, enhance and experience urban culture. Urban space and the meaning and functions attributed to it are the basic determinants of societal and personal relations and communication. Space is the constructed environment surrounding humans and, to some degree isolating them from their environment, but enable them to maintain their actions and lives. Thus, urban space is a three dimensional representation of gap, distance, relations and communication of humans with other humans and their environment and the positioning of urban form in urban space. Cities are constructed social spaces with their urban forms, buildings, work places, streets, roads, sidewalks, parks and gardens, squares, lightings, urban furniture, opens paces etc. Urban space involves open and empty space as well as constructed space. The main characteristic of urban space is that it houses social life and texture. This social life could be private or public, personal or in group, and individual or institutional. It provides a public arena for humans to maintain their lives, get socialized, communicate with others, and help build an urban identity encompassing the whole city. Urban space could be divided as "public" and "private". Public space is the common arenas used for social and public purposes open to all public whereas private space is the areas that belong to individuals for their own personal or familial use. In recent years, the meaning of public space has become blurred. Public service areas and structures owned or / and operated by private entrepreneurs such as malls, entertainment centers, airports, parking areas, GSM transmitter/receiver stations, among others, as well as socioeconomic and technological transformations has increased the complexity of the distinction of public and private space.In this study, after the concepts and phenomena of city and space are defined conceptually, and their theoretical foundations are provided, they are evaluated on the base of perspectives and perceptions of the urban dwellers. The field research of the phenomena questioned is conducted in the city of Isparta, and data is collected by questionnaires, visuals and observation in all the neighborhoods of the city. According to the data collected through the field research, the phenomena of city and public and private urban space are evaluated. Besides, how the Ispartans perceive and experience city, urban space, private and public space and differences are explored. Moreover, on the base of the findings, the importance of the city's "public spaces and places" in the lives of the Ispartans are discussed in terms of publicness.