Urban green spaces including parks and gardens are an essential part of a network of physical and social well-being. They provide spaces to socialize and opportunities to connect with nature. They are restorative enclaves. When it comes to scaling down spaces in general, they form important constituent parts of what we call the setting in which we behave. Barker elaborated the notion of behavior setting by describing how our behavior is influenced and constrained by settings. A setting consists of the space, its contents, its surroundings, the people and their activities. As Norberg-Schulz puts it, this is a microcosmos that wraps people and the space. The paper aims to discuss this issue.
In this study a behavior setting with different spatial attributes in an urban green space, namely, Kriton Curi Park on the Asian side of Istanbul is observed. Landscapes used by both men and women may be gendered even if men and women use them at the same time. Women’s and men’s experiences of the same setting can be different. The difference is likely to be the outcome of both the physical attributes of the setting and/or the social construction of the society. However, a general attribute of genders’ experience of space is that women are more sensitive to spatial contents and more selective about the use of space. According to previous research, men and women do not have equal control over behavior settings in urban green spaces, in Turkey.
The findings of this study address a social fact that appropriate physical features of urban green spaces like Criton Curi Park and its immediate environment reveal a higher degree of equality in gender roles.
As the literature indicates parks being among urban green spaces are not yet studied enough in the Turkish context. This study is an attempt to study the status of women in open public space. For the sustainability of social relations parks become even more important.
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