Private Open Space

Common Usable Open Space

Patios, front yards, back yards


Play areas for preschoolers

Play Areas for School Children

Places for Young Adults

Adult facilities

Open Space for the Seniors


All ages.

 The need for private open space is prevalent. The value of private open space lies in its privacy and the control that people can exercise over it.

All ages.

 The majority of residents consider balconies a desirable feature of the residential unit. Balconies represent an important extension of the living space into the outdoors.


 Preschoolers need to play in view-mg and calling distance of the supervising adults

School Children.

 Children of this age group need to socialize and engage in activities with other children. They need to develop coordination and motor skills. Opportunity should be given to realize all facets of play: social, motor, fantasy imitation, and contact with natural or nature-like elements.

Young Adults.

 Teenagers need informal gather-mg places to socialize with their peers in the vicinity of their homes where they can watch "the action" and where they can be seen.


 Relative to other age groups adults use residential open space least. Still, they need places to sit, relax, sunbathe, spend time with their families and/or residents and pursue activities of physical fitness.


 Older people need places to sit, meet other people and actively or passively take part in outdoor activities.

DESIGN ELEMENTS Location, Orientation, Site Design

Locate private open space on the east-south or west side of the residential units.

Preferably orient balconies to the south or west-side; make them accessible from the main room of the dwelling unit.

Place tot-lots in viewing and and calling distance of respective residential units.

Locate play areas for school children where they disturb residential units least.

Locate teenage areas at the periphery of the housing development, on street corners or inter-section of major pathways, where foot and automobile traffic are passing by. Orient teenage facility towards convenience store or favorite coffee shop.

Provide several spatially defined sitting areas of varying character through out the residential development.

Place several sitting areas throughout the residential area; locate at least one near the play area for preschoolers if present.       

Preferably locate spaces at grade; but can also be located at podium levels and roof tops.


Patios win. 12' X 15' Back yards 200 sq. ft. for singles elderly, 400-450 sq. ft. for families.

Minimum depth 6' Recommended length 12' for family units. Minimum area for single apartments is 55 sq. ft.

Surveys show that at peak periods no more than one third of the children population play in outdoor areas. Therefore dimension play areas to accommodate 1/3 of the total children population at 75 sq. ft. per child.





Establish clear boundaries between private open space and common open space.

Ensure privacy; to achieve this balcony could interlock with the dwelling unit.

Provide security and a sense of enclosure through fencing, planting or change in grade level without blocking the view from and into the area.

Reduce sound through planting, earthen banks, walls or by depressing children's play areas.

Provide teenage meeting place defined by walls, ledges, steps of various heights.


Design areas to give a feeling of enclosure.

Facilities, Equipment

Storage closets, water faucets, electric outlets and outdoor lights are desirable.

Provide for flower boxes; equip with electric outlets.

Provide swings (preferably with rubber tires), sandboxes, wading pools, and climbing apparatus scaled down for the age group as well as tables and comfortable benches for supervising adults.

Outfit areas with play equipment such as swings, balancing bars, climbing structures. Make available materials such as wood blocks, boards, sand, rocks, earth, and water.

Desirable facilities: basketball courts table tennis, swimming pool, gym, playfields

Equip some of the sitting areas with barbecues. Other desirable facilities are: logging paths, tennis courts, softball areas, swimming pools, sauna and health clubs, garden plots.

Provide sitting areas with comfortable benches with backrests, arranged in a fashion to encourage socializing. Provide tables for games, flower-beds, garden plots, water fountains.




Provide hard surfaces for wheel toys and grass for tumbling.

Provide sufficient hard surface areas for children's play.

Provide paved surfaces as well as lawns and planted areas.


Should receive full sunshine for at least 2 hrs. between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Should receive full sunshine for at least 2 hrs. between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Protect from wind. Provide for optional shading.

Assure full sunlight throughout the year for the peak periods of play.

Assure full sunlight throughout the year for the peak periods of play.

Assure sunshine, protect from wind.

Protect sitting areas from wind.

Provide options of sitting in the sun and filtered shade.



Shield open space from external noise