Title page for ETD etd-01162012-173406


Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Harper, Sally Anne
URN etd-01162012-173406
Document Title Urban open space : user perceptions of the Avis dam environment
Degree Master of Arts
Department Psychology
Supervisor
Advisor Name Title
Prof A C Fiedeldey Supervisor
Keywords
  • Metropolitan Open Space System
  • stedelike oopruimtes
  • sistemiese denke
  • ekosistemiese denke
  • openbare deelname
  • plek
  • ecosystemic thinking
  • urban open space
  • Metropolitaanse Oopspasiestelsel
  • behaviour setting theory
  • systems theory
  • plekidentiteit
  • omgewingsielkunde
  • place identity
  • environmental psychology
  • empowerment
  • public participation
  • place
Date 1998-09-01
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
From its infancy, environmental psychology [which concerns itself with the coinfluencing interface between people and places] has required attention to actual context, and attention to social relevance. There has always been an emphasis on research into real problems within a context of meaningful theory, and on results which have potential not only for individuals, but also for policy-makers and those who execute that policy.

This environmental psychology study is about the potential role of green open space in contributing towards quality of life in the city generally. It is also about a specific, wellloved urban open space in Namibia's capital city, Windhoek, the Avis dam environment, which is often the contentious target of proposed commercial development. At the moment, the Windhoek Municipality has no well-structured urban open space policy, and possibly also no full understanding of the meanings of the Avis dam for its users. This study hopes to make contributions to both these areas of policy-making.

As the applicability of research findings to the development of public policies and community interventions depends very much on the suitability of the methodology and theories chosen (Stokols, 19911), this study begins with a discussion of systemic and ecosystemic thinking [Chapter Two]. They were chosen as the guiding metatheory for this study, not only because of their recognition of the inescapable connectedness between person and environment, but because of their personal appeal too. Chapter Three examines theories and models which are compatible with systems thinking, and which help understand the potentially positive psycho-social and socio-economic roles of urban open space generally, and how the extent of that potential in a specific open space may be appreciated and described.

The implications of systemic/ecosystemic metatheory for the study's methodology and research design are discussed in Chapter Four, and the data collection methods, which comprised observation and interviewing, in Chapter Five. Ecosystemic thinkers do not believe that facts can be "found" [they are not there objectively, but co-emerge subjectively from people's individual and collective experience in a place], so Chapter Six deals with a co-emergent interpretation of the data gathered. Based on that interpretation, recommendations for urban open space policy generally, and the Avis dam environment specifically, are made in Chapter Seven.

AFRIKAANS : Omgewingssielkunde (wat gemoeid is met die mede-beinvloedings tussen mense en plekke) het van sy vroegste jeug aandag benodig ten opsigte van werklike verband asook maatskaplike toepaslikheid. Daar was nog altyd klem op navorsing ten opsigte van daadwerklike probleme binne die verband van ‘n betekenisvolle teorie asook op die uitslae wat potensiaal het vir die individualis sowel as die beleidsbepalers en beleidsuitvoerders.

Hierdie omgewingssielkundestudie gaan oor hoe groen oop spasies moontlik kan bydra tot kwaliteit van lewensgehalte in die stad oor die algemeen. Dit gaan ook oor ‘n besondere, geliefde stedelike oop ruimte in Namibia se hoofstad, Windhoek, nl. die Avisdamomgewing, wat voortdurend ‘n teiken is vir bedryfsontwikkeling. Tans beskik die Munisipaliteit van Windhoek nie oor ‘n welsaamgestelde beleid oor oop ruimtes nie en moontlik ontbreek ook by hulle die nodige begrip van die betekenis van die dam vir sy verbruikers. Hierdie studie be-oog om ‘n bydrae in die beleidsbepalings van altwee leemtes te lewer. Die toepaslikheid van navorsingsbevindings in die ontwikkeling van openbare beleid en gemeenskapsbemiddeling hang baie van die gepastheid van die metodologie en teorië (Stokols, 1991)2 af. Hierdie studie begin met ‘n bespreking oor sistemiese en ekosistemiese denke (Hoofstuk Twee). Hulle is as die leidende metateorieë gekies, nie alleen vir hul erkenning van die onontkombare verband tussen persone en hul omgewing nie, maar ook vir hulle persoonlike aantrekkingskrag.

In Hoofstuk Drie word teorië en voorbeelde bestudeer wat verenigbaar is met sistemiese denke en wat help om die potensiële positiewe psigo-sosiale en sosio-ekonomiese rolle van stedelike oop ruimtes oor die algemeen te verstaan, asook hoe om die omvang van die potensiaal van ‘n spesifieke oop ruimte te kan waardeer en te kan beskryf.

In Hoofstuk Vier word die implikasies van die sistemiese/eko-sistemiese metateorie vir hierdie studie se metodologie en navorsingsplan bespreek. Die dataversamelingsmetodes wat uit waarneming en onderhoude bestaan, word in Hoofstuk Vyf hanteer. Ekosistemiese denkers glo nie dat feite “gevind” word nie (dit is nie objektiewelik daar nie maar ontstaan subjektiewelik deur persone se individuele en gesamentlike ondervindinge van ‘n plek), dus word die vertolking van die saamgestelde data in Hoofstuk Ses bespreek. In die lig van dié vertolking word aanbevelings 2 Stokols, D. (1991). Conceptual strategies of environmental psychology. In D. Stokols & I. Altman (Eds), Handbook of environmental psychology, Vol. 1 (pp. 41-70). New York: John Wiley. vir stedelike oopruimtebeleid in die algemeen asook spesifiek vir die Avisdam omgewing in Hoofstuk Sewe hanteer.

© 1998, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria

Please cite as follows:

Harper, SA 1998, Urban open space : user perceptions of the Avis dam environment, MA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-01162012-173406/ >

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