|dc.description.abstract||This study is an assessment of a major outdoor urban open space - Victoria Square in the Christchurch city centre.
The development of public places in the city has been an integral part of the pattern of growth that has produced the city itself. Yet New Zealand has not been well-endowed with memorable public places and proposals for new public places within its cities produce as many critics as proponents.
The primary objectives of this study, are to:
(1) test whether users' motivations, patterns of behaviour, perceptions and preferences concerning Victoria Square coincide with the designer's assumptions,
(2) compare the findings from a user evaluation with those from a conventional "critic" type evaluation,
(3) develop recommendations for the third stage design of Victoria Square,
(4) derive general guidelines about user preferences and patterns of use for consideration in the future design of urban open space.
There is little known about the nature of activities and needs of an users of the urban open space like Victoria Square - who they are or why they are there, how they are using it and what their reactions are about this central city urban open space. In this study, information about users' motivation and behaviour patterns was collected through participant observations, systematic observation, open-ended interviews and questionnaires in Victoria Square during April, May and June 1990. As well as containing a description of park use characteristics, the results of the study indicate that:
(1) needs of different kinds of people mostly coincide with designer's assumptions,
(2) the public appear to like the Victoria Square design and would like to leave it as it is now and think the third stage construction is not necessary,
(3) Victoria Square as an urban open space in Christchurch plays a role as a "nature retreat", and meets different people's outdoor passive recreation needs.
This research information could be utilised by Landscape designers involved in designing central city urban open spaces.||en