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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Landscape Architecture

Degree Type

Master of Landscape Architecture (M.L.A.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



China’s development during the last several decades has happened at an amazing speed, and public plazas in China have changed considerably. For example, public dancing has become a very popular activity in most public plazas, and many more people than before are using these new plazas. However, some plazas are less popular than others. Therefore it is important to know what are the elements that affect people’s use of China’s public plazas? In the United States, William H. Whyte’s research proposed seven elements in public space that affect people. This study tried to answer the following questions: 1) Do William H. Whyte’s seven elements also apply to China? 2) How are urban public plazas used differently in the United States and China?


First Advisor

Robert Ryan

Second Advisor

Michael Di Pasquale

Third Advisor

Piper R. Gaubatz