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Deciphering urban life : a multi-layered investigation of St. Enoch Square, Glasgow City Centre

Salama, Ashraf M. and Remali, Adel M. and MacLean, Laura (2017) Deciphering urban life : a multi-layered investigation of St. Enoch Square, Glasgow City Centre. ArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, 11 (2). pp. 137-156. ISSN 1938-7806

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Abstract

An urban space is a vital stage for social interaction and city life. Measuring the city life is always related to social, economic and cultural conditions of an urban context. Social gathering increases the quality of urban space and improves economic vitality. This paper aims to explore how successful urban spaces could impact the growth and performance of an urban context, not only as a physical urban reality, but also as a generator of social life. Utilising St. Enoch Square as a case study, a multi-layered methodological approach constituted in a series of tools was implemented, including behavioural mapping, visual preference survey, walking tour assessment, contemplating settings, and observing physical traces and by-product of use in order to interpret various forms of experiences that take place. Findings reveal various attributes of St. Enoch Square while highlighting different qualities that promote and support the overall vibrancy of the city life. Conclusions are drawn to emphasise that the physical and spatial characteristics of an urban space are critical factors for maintaining social interaction while creating essential opportunities that support the human experience in the public realm.