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Experiential assessment of urban open spaces in Doha

Salama, Ashraf M. and Khalfani, Fatma and Al-Maimani, Ahood (2013) Experiential assessment of urban open spaces in Doha. Open House International, 38 (4). pp. 47-57. ISSN 0168-2601

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Abstract

The current fast track urban development process is an important characteristic of the city of Doha. No exploration or examination of its urban spaces, however, has been done before. This paper offers an experiential assessment of three key urban open spaces by examining their spatial and physical characteristics while implementing direct systematic observation and behavioural mapping procedure. Assessment results reveal important outcomes that include absence of physical aspects amenable for effective use while offering a pleasant experience for visitors. The findings contribute to an in-depth understanding of the qualities of the three spaces and the resulting use, activities, and behaviour representative of the inhabitants' spatial experience in those spaces. While the overall experience of users appear to be satisfactory, the results convey that there is an absence of landscape features and a dearth of green spaces and appropriate outdoor furniture, absence of adequate shaded areas and shading devices and a lack of children's facilities or specially designated areas for children. Addressing the lack of features that enhance people's activities and use of these spaces would contribute to making the spaces more conducive for use by different types of users and at different days and times.