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Application of prospect-refuge theory to the example of urban parks


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Jelić, Margareta and Šeruga, Matea and Mikloušić, Igor. (2014). Application of prospect-refuge theory to the example of urban parks. Socijalna ekologija, 22(3). pp. 183-200. ISSN 1330-0113

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Prospect-refuge theory (Appleton, 1975) is based on the assumption that human aesthetic experience of landscape is the reflection of our preferences toward certain types of locations, which have evolved for survival. The theory predicts that those landscapes which combine unimpeded visual prospects (prospect-dominant areas) and opportunity for concealment (refuge-dominant areas) will be more attractive, more pleasant and safer. The aim of this experimental research was to examine whether the addition of certain features related to prospect and refuge in the design of public spaces will affect the perception of attractiveness and pleasantness of those areas. Two public spaces were selected: urban park Bundek and urban park Maksimir, both located in Croatian capital Zagreb. The questionnaire consisted of 10 visual representations, modified so that each representation consisted of three photographs of the same area with different emphasis on one of the three features related to prospect and refuge (prospect, refuge and prospect-refuge). The survey was conducted via the internet and social networks. There were a total of 263 respondents. The respondents preferred the areas which contained prospect-refuge components in five representations, they preferred refuge components in four representations, and both prospect-refuge and refuge components in one representation. Based on these results, we conclude that the predictions of prospect-refuge theory are only partially confirmed.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Keywords: design of urban parks, attractiveness of public spaces, prospect-refuge theory, landscape design
Subjects: Psychology > Socijalna psihologija
Departments: Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2017 12:10
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2017 12:10

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