Balancing Perceived Sensory Dimensions and Biotopes in Urban Green Space Design

Lockwood, Amanda
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University of Guelph

Eight Perceived Sensory Dimensions (PSDs) were identified from previous studies to describe user preferences of park qualities and characteristics: nature, culture, prospect, social, space, rich-in-species, refuge, and serene. Recently, PSDs and biotopes have been integrated to enhance park users’ preferences and vegetation structure. Usable green space needs to balance social aspects (PSDs) and environmental aspects (biotopes) at the design stage. This study assesses urban green spaces through experimental design based on the inclusion of the biotope ‘green space’ and PSDs. Designs were created based on market squares in Guelph and London, Ontario, by including biotope characteristics for plazas and PSDs. Designs were critically analyzed to determine that PSDs and the biotope category ‘plaza’ had a positive relationship aside from the PSD ‘nature’. This research contributes to the understanding of socially and environmentally cohesive urban green spaces, providing landscape architects with tools for creating usable green spaces in Southern Ontario cities.

Plaza, Preferences, Landscape, Design Exploration, Virtual Model, Design Principles