Scientific Research and Essays

  • Abbreviation: Sci. Res. Essays
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-2248
  • DOI: 10.5897/SRE
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2755

Full Length Research Paper

Prospect and refuge as the predictors of preferences for seating areas

Sema Mumcu1*, TuÄŸba Düzenli2 and Ali Özbilen1
1Department of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Forestry, Karadeniz Technical University, 61080-Trabzon/Turkey. 2Karadeniz Technical University, Graduate School of Natural and Applied Sciences, 61080- Trabzon/Turkey.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 18 February 2010
  •  Published: 04 June 2010


The aim of this research is to analyze the significant spatial features of successful seating areas in urban open spaces. It attempts to identify which attributes should be taken into consideration when these successful features are evaluated. It is assumed that the criteria related to these features can be clarified partially by means of Appleton’s prospect-refuge theory. In the questionnaire, 148 users of an urban park were asked to mark various features (prospect, refuge, most attractive scene, most preferred, non-preferred, comfortable, safe etc.) corresponding to the places on the plan. The places corresponding to the different features were ascertained by overlapping the answers for each question using AutoCAD, 2007 software. This analysis revealed that places determined for ‘prospect’ and ‘most preferred’ features had a high correlation; they were often the same. Analyses of the areas stated by the subjects, related to the features by means of cross tabs, have shown that this relationship between preference and prospect is statistically significant. However, the same connection could not be found between ‘refuge’ and preference. Differences between evaluations that are related to various features (like prospect, refuge, safety, overlooking the area and comfort) of preferred and non-preferred places were also statistically important. Furthermore, prospect, refuge, safety and the comfort values of preferred places ascertained to be at higher levels than non-preferred ones.


Key words: Landscape preference, prospect refuge theory, seating places, affordances.