Contribution of Open Spaces to Quality of Life & Urban Sustainability: an Example from Ankara, Turkey

Bahar Gedikli, Ankara, TURKEY 

An open space can be defined as an unbuilt land within the city which provides environmental, social, and economic benefits to communities. It can sometimes be a green space like parks and gardens, play areas, sports facilities and green corridors; or a civic space like pedestrian streets, sports facilities and promenades. Among its environmental services, there are air and water purification, wind and noise filtering, microclimate stabilization. As far as its health service are concerned, researches prove that it reduces stress, rejuvenates people, and provides peacefulness. There is a positive correlation between the use of park and good health—both mentally and physically. The social services of an open space are encouragement of the use of outdoor spaces, and increase of social integration and interaction among neighbours. Finally, its economic services include air purification by trees that reduces costs of pollution prevention; promotion of city as a tourist destination; and increase of property values (Chiesura, A. 2004). This study specifically deals with the social benefits an open space provides, and illustrates an example from Ankara, Turkey. Temporary festivals/activities organized at open spaces are among the social benefits that open spaces provide: The study aims at displaying how a neighborhood public space can improve the urban quality of life when used as a festival place. It elaborately discusses the motives behind the festival organization, the actors involved, the elements of the public space that help using it as a festival area; and the outcomes achieved regarding the urban quality of life. 

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