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To See Without Being Seen: Landscape perception and human behaviour in urban parks

Authors:

L. W. G. Kawshalya ,

University of Moratuwa, Moratuwa, LK
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Janaka Dharmasena

University of Moratuwa, Moratuwa, LK
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Abstract

The ambiguous relationship between people and the environment runs back to millions of years and the concept of ‘to see without being seen’ has evolved from the past. As Appleton claims, the genes of our ancestors who preferred such environments are still with us and we prefer environments with our biological instincts. In this paper, four different urban restorative environments have been examined to test the ‘prospects’ and ‘refuges’ preference of the users of those places. This is tested under four aspects of the ‘prospects-refuges’ relationship such as; Strong prospect (open view, open observing point), Inversely balanced (close view, open observing point), Perfectly balanced (open view and closed observing point) and Strong refuge (close view and close observing point) in order to inquire about the subjective perspective of preference which claims that preferences are based on individuals. The paper explores the perception of Beddagana wetland park, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte and Diyasarupark, Thalawathugoda prevalent among the every-day users as well as the experts in the landscape design field. The paper demonstrates that the highest preferences of both the user groups have been towards the ‘Perfectly balanced’ prospect refuge scenario which supports the ability to see without being seen. The paper argues that this result may be useful in designing specific spaces of urban landscapes.
How to Cite: Kawshalya, L.W.G. and Dharmasena, J., 2019. To See Without Being Seen: Landscape perception and human behaviour in urban parks. Cities People Places : An International Journal on Urban Environments, 4(1), pp.1–8. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cpp.v4i1.40
Published on 30 Oct 2019.
Peer Reviewed

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