Public Space and Play Theory

Reading Aachen through the Play Theory


  • Pelin Isik RWTH Aachen University image/svg+xml
  • Christa Reicher
  • Ceren Sezer




public space, social life, play theory, urban design tools, relationship user- space


Public spaces serve as the sensory system of urban life, and are crucial for interconnecting individuals, ideas, and  cultures within the fabric of cities. This study provides a fresh interpretation of public spaces by examining people’s activities from a new perspective. By applying play theory to public space analysis, the study uncovers spontaneous and unplanned activities and the novel relationships which exist between users and their environments. In so doing it paves the way for a new approach to public space design.

With a focus on Aachen as a place of play, this study seeks to develop urban design tools that take into account users’ leisure time activities. By recognizing the unique relationships that play can create between individuals and their surroundings in terms of perceptions, intentions, actions, and uses of space, the research encourages a fresh perspective on urban design tools. Ultimately, the findings of this study offer a new design approach for creating public spaces that are more participating, inclusive, and user-centred.

How to Cite

Isik, P., Reicher, C., & Sezer, C. (2023). Public Space and Play Theory: Reading Aachen through the Play Theory. Transactions of the Association of European Schools of Planning, 7(1), 23–35.




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