Investigating the spatial quality perception of open public space users in historical touristic places: the case of Bellapais Monastery, Beylerbeyi Village, North Cyprus

Gök, Sahra
Touristic historical places together with their public spaces attract and appeal visitors and everyday users due to several factors. One of these factors is the high spatial quality, critically impacting on the long-term viability and conservation of historical sites and their public spaces. The spatial quality of touristic historical places and their open public spaces can be effectively assessed by the viewpoints of visitors and everyday users. This research aims to evaluate the spatial quality perception of such spaces regarding four types of indicators (i.e., accessibility, comfort, sociability, and activity) according to different types of users. As the case study sites, it examines the Bellapais Monastery and the Beylerbeyi village, which are the most magnificent places in Northern Cyprus with their preserved built environment. It assesses the spatial quality perceptions of tourists and visitors, residents and citizens of Northern Cyprus about the open public spaces of both the Monastery and Beylerbeyi according to these four quality indicators. It uses quantitative and qualitative, primary and secondary data attained from visual records, direct observation, urban morphological analyses, a survey and interviews. Despite the limitations of COVID-19 pandemic conditions which led to a decrease in the use of public spaces by tourists, daily users and citizens of Northern Cyprus, the findings of the research reveal that each of the three groups perceives the open space quality differently and points out different indicators affecting the spatial quality of open public spaces. By comparing similar historical touristic environments and their urban design and conservation approaches, this research seeks to show that, despite the differences in the quality perception of its users, the spatial quality of some important historic touristic spaces should be increased for the common public needs without destroying the essential character and quality of heritage spaces.


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Citation Formats
S. Gök, “Investigating the spatial quality perception of open public space users in historical touristic places: the case of Bellapais Monastery, Beylerbeyi Village, North Cyprus,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2022.