Public spaces play a key role in citizens’ participation in improving the urban environment. There are a series of factors and criteria including social interactions, environmental health, identity and the sense of belonging, safety and security, public trust, prosperity and local economic development, suitable access, variety of urban services and the quality of life all play important roles. Associated with the main question of this paper are assessments of capacities, resources, drives, and constraints of a given district, and hence the necessity of their analysis. An analysis of qualitative and quantitative criteria and indices can lead to a realisation of key factors of social actions. The main aim here is to offer an explanation for the role of public spaces in social participation. Tehran’s Kooy-e Nasr (Guisha) district is chosen for this study – typically facing above-mentioned challenges – and its public spaces were studied based on selected indices, using questionnaires and semi-structured interviews under Aronson content analysis model and the SWOT method. The results show that community participation is most associated with variety of services in public spaces. There are also noticeable correlations between the sense of belonging and active presence in public spaces, and social interactions. These results can play a significant part in district development planning to fulfil public demand for community participation.
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