How the physical characteristics may affect the social life of streets in Athens, Greece?
Keywords:environmental affordances, sociable streets, streets classification, street behavior, Athens.
AbstractThe urban space is characterized by specific qualities that may contribute to, or mitigate the social life. These qualities were described by James Gibson as “environmental affordances”. According to that theoretical perspective, urban designers and environmental psychologists should focus on the physical features of a space in order to understand and explain the way in which it functions and the degree to which is sociable. For the scholars of road networks, this approach is particularly useful because streets shape the platform for a wide range of social interactions and experiences. Streets are by definition social spaces, which not operate always efficiently because of their form and their particular characteristics. This is one of the primary reasons why it is stated in the literature that public space is now declined and as a result it needs to recover its old glamorous prestige and importance. In the light of the above, the specific research as primarily qualitative, is focused on studies of the urban form of the Athenian streets and proposes a typology for them considering some key physical characteristics which affect with a specific way the embedded social life. Finally, an attempt is made to generalize the effects of the specific physical characteristics to the socialization of urban spaces.
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