The purpose of this study is to investigate water elements, which are one the most important design elements in urban open spaces, by focusing on their importance in spatial perception, their place in spatial organization, their effects on increasing the quality of space and their psychological effects on users. In the content of the study, the relationships between water elements, urban design and spatial perception processes have been examined in the context of theories of perception and environmental psychology. A questionnaire was conducted to reflect the multi-dimensional aspects to determine how it perceived and interpreted by users with different characteristics and the results of the questionnaire were evaluated for the water element within the case-study area, Üsküdar Municipality Square.
According to the results of the survey and the observations evaluated with Lickert-scale scoring system; four main outcomes have detected: (I) The square and the water element is an important focal point in the whole central area of Üsküdar, (II) The harmony between the water element and the urban environment is interpreted in medium level, (III) Relaxing and refreshing features are more prominent for users, (IV) The design principles are not very successful, the tools used on the pool are common, plain and ordinary (medium level). According to the results and the problems associated with the conceptual framework; the principles to be considered in the design of the water element are produced in the context of the sample area.
Keywords: Urban open spaces, urban design, spatial perception, water elements, pedestrian areas
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