11 12 2010
The study of physical environment and use of outdoor spaces at Newcastle University:

by: Siham Saleh

    During the last summer, I was studying at INTO Newcastle University Pre-Sessional course as a preparation period for enhancing academic English language. Certainly, I have done a small study about the physical environment and use of outdoor spaces at Newcastle University. In brief, I would like to share with you this modest work in order to discuss with you, if the outdoor spaces at Newcastle university are successfully used or not?  Also, what is your point of  view,how the open space can be used? What the most attractive of physical environment can affect the range of using the space?

the study:

    The study was focuses on of outdoor spaces at Newcastle University in terms of user perceptions towards physical environment and patterns use of  these spaces, throughout a comparison between two main  outdoor spaces at this university which called) the Quadrangle space and the King’s Gate space). The study roots via making a questionnaire as primary research to collect data about people’s views and perceptions, 20 participants who were the main users of these spaces from different background were asked about their views and their feelings regarding the use of place. Generally, the findings were, indeed, showed that these spaces are successfully used as place to walk and access buildings. Furthermore, the most attractive physical environment condition was the appearance of natural green area in both spaces. However, precisely there is a shortage of different activities such as meeting friends which can be clearly observed in these spaces.

the result:

these following charts show the most interesting finding, one of them is represents that the main uses of  both spaces were mainly for the Necessary activities (walking),the other one illustarte that both spaces were similar in terms of people’s  perception to the appearance of green area.








  According to Carmona (2007:143) the outdoor space can absorb different activities, which can be classified to three groups of outdoor activities. Necessary activities (walking and passing), Optional activities (sitting and sunbathing), and Social activities (greetings or meeting friends). However, Carmona and Tiesdell, whom I totally agree with, argue that “when outdoor areas are of poor quality, only strictly necessary activities occur”.


My new finding:

In fact, because I continuously use these spaces, as a result of the location of architectural building,  the place that I reach almost in every day,  as  one  of surrounding  buildings  on Quadrangle , my experience start to build up wider than before about to what I have done above. The normal observation that comes from my daily use of these spaces, have given me an opportunity to find a new aspects of which factors can affect the use of outdoor space. Especially, these days with very cold and bad weather, I recognize that, not only the physical environment can influence the use of outdoor spaces, but also the meaning of  space or might the character of space can make the space preferably used. In clarity, the people who graduate in last year have their celebration in this time of the year. Obviously, I found that a great number of people standing on the Quadrangle with their families, taking the pictures, standing on the space etc. and when I asked  some of them, why they standing in this very bad weather? The normal answer was because of the meaning of space as a place that represents Newcastle University for them, also the historical appearance of surrounding architecture facades. These follow pictures show us who people use the space in this period.


                                                                                                                   >>>>>>>>>>>>. To be continue




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