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Diversity and thermal comfort in outdoor places

journal contribution
posted on 2011-01-01, 00:00 authored by Inji Kenawy, Hisham Elkadi
Sustainable cities should be livable cities where people from different backgrounds and with different aspirations can meet and interact with each other. Public places being the urban stages where the social interactions happen are considered important parts of cities (Thompson, 2002; Varna, 2009). They can contribute to enhance the quality of life within cities, or contrarily increase isolation and social exclusion (Lo et al., 2003). As a consequence of globalization and the development of global cities, the level of international migration has been growing in the last decades creating a plurality of different cultures in global cities and inspiring in such cities a multicultural nature (O'Byrne, 1997; Short and Kim, 1999; Hawkins, 2006). This created new challenges in urban planning or the management of the coexistence of different people that are having different characteristics that shape their unique identity and needs in the shared spaces (Sandercock, 2004). Ideally, in order to invite a diversity of users, urban outdoor places should provide significant functional and physical qualities, and accessibility to them, which induce the fulfillment of physiological, psychological and social needs (Carr et al., 1992; Jacobs, 1993; Sandholz, 2007). Users’ state of comfort as stated by researchers gives a good indication for how successful is the public outdoor places (Rosheidat et al., 2008; Kwong et al., 2009; Aljawabra and Nikolopoulou, 2010). In order to create a successful open space usable by all members of a community, urban designers need to satisfy their comfort needs in its wider meaning according to a variety of different ages, genders and cultural backgrounds (Knez and Thorsson, 2006; Thorsson et al., 2007). The main aim of the research is to examine the influence of culture and environmental attitude on participants’ thermal requirements in outdoor public places. The paper explores the variables that constitute a successful multicultural design, issues of cultural complexity, and the measuring comfort in specific outdoor public place. Qualitative analysis of a case study provides the main research methodology of the research. The conclusion will provide a set of criteria that guide future design and development of a successful shared outdoor public places.



International journal of diversity in organizations, communities and nations






237 - 248


Common Ground Publishing


Altona, Vic.







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2011, Common Ground, Inji Kenawy, Hisham ElKadi

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