Human Behaviour & Urban Squares : A Public Life Study of Kungsträdgården and Sergels Torg

University essay from KTH/Urbana och regionala studier

Abstract: Some public squares experience large amounts of human activity and some experience very little, even though external conditions between them create comparable opportunities for public life. The field of public life studies observes the human activity of public spaces and presents principles that predicts human public behaviour to gain a better understanding for what elements of space people are attracted to. The human staying activity at two central public square in Stockholm – Kungsträdgården and Sergels Torg – was studied with the methodology of public life studies as outlined in Gehl & Svarre (2013) How to Study Public Life. A stationary activity mapping was performed for the two squares where female, male, sitting and standing activity was registered. The result show that Kungsträdgården attracts more than twice the staying activity as Sergels Torg, and that the two squares are mirror images of each other in terms of gender and activity proportions, with Kungsträdgården being predominately female and sitting and Sergels Torg male and standing. The principles, theories, previous observations and hypotheses from a selection of the most seminal works within the public life studies field frame the seven themes used to analyse the human stationary activity at the two squares; Sitting, Standing, Thermal Comfort, Psychological Comfort, Sensory Comfort, Aesthetics and Human Interaction.

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