Quantity and quality of public open spaces in Israel

Yodan Rofè, Gabriella Feierstein, Inbal Zarchin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Neighbourhood public open spaces (POS) are generally considered to be essential for a good quality of urban life. Few studies attempt to examine the contribution of POS to the life of residents across different climate zones and settlement sizes. This research employed three different methods to evaluate POS in ordinary neighbourhoods in Israel: observation of activity, survey of residents' attitudes towards them and mapping feelings while walking through them. The research shows that while neighbourhoods in Israel do not lack POS, their quality leaves much to be desired, particularly in desert cities and towns. The various methods of evaluating the quality of POS have resulted in mixed messages: while civic spaces were the most intensively used, people's feelings were better in green POS; residents ranked neighbourhood POS as least attractive for spending time outdoors, yet perceived them as important for their quality of life. In smaller and low-density neighbourhoods, little use of green POS was in evidence, and yet appreciation and satisfaction with them were highest. The results indicate that it is time to depart from the exclusive use of quantitative standards in assessing POS provision, and that the quality and success of POS must be measured using diverse methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-187
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Urban Design and Planning
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Social impact
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Urban Studies


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