From Whyte (1980) idea, people’s perceptions of public space which are located indoors is same as private space, traditionally public spaces are located outdoor space and be visible from different aspects for visitors, three has been a kind of fear of being enclosed space for people that can be diminished by using glasses walls and open entrances. Bringing vibrancy of street life in the enclosed area or keeping several doors open to make a clear imagination of that space are helpful for welcoming of the space (Gehl 1987; Whyte 1980).

Being exclusive in public space or as Kohn (2004) says ‘privatization’ is a consequence that might happen in every public space because of social classification, less vibrant and diverse space and undermined democracy (Mitchell 1995; Whyte 1980). Social hierarchy or segregation has been affected on the particular community who is assumed as a stranger, outsider or ‘others’ in the space (Loukaitou-Sideris 1993). So the diversity of population in different level of society can create a vibrant and dynamic space that can affect people’s life and activities in the equal situations (Jacobs 2016; Whyte 1980), without those activities, making public spaces attractive and inclusive is not possible literally, where people create their identity and individuality to connect the space.

Thus, it can be perceived that public space indicates a space with equal opportunities to all groups for different activities which has been embowed by connecting communities and making reliable relationships. Diverse groups come to space and share their identities, similarities, differences and make the space active and understandable.  

Culture and religion in urban open spaces

Cultural diversity in the urban form and context is one of many characteristics of many multicultural cities in the world like Toronto, Los Angles, New York and recently Melbourne (Qadeer 2016), although the separation of culture and religion in this term has been a critical issue for decision makers and urban planners. The question that has been raised here is what the role of religion regarding diversity is; religion is embedded in several cultures and these days it is an obvious and everyday reality of urban spaces. The notable example is the Arab cultural community, which has many activities and customs in common with Islamic the culture, as far as the separation of Arab culture and Islamic culture is not possible in many cases.

Development of places of worship, religious and cultural education centres, as well as commercial enterprises servicing ethno-cultural and religious needs, affect cities’ physical structure, appearance, and representational landscape through design, function, and use. Emergence and maintenance of material and symbolic religious practices are important forms of placemaking. Through the administrative, spatial and social interactions of placemaking, interplays between continuous and new performances contribute toward hybridised religious, secular and cultural performances in private and public spaces (Mansouri, Lobo & Johns 2016; Tse 2014).

This associated relation might affect the city’s physical structure and appearance, for instance through the design elements of public spaces and for worship places, particularly religious minorities or Non-Christian religions like Islam. There is, then, a case for using cultural/religious design elements in general urban planning and design practices (Chiodelli & Moroni 2017). From this perspective, Melbourne’s planning and decision-making systems are recognised as secular, but they increasingly need to accommodate different religious spaces, as well as cultural ones. A good example is Hobsons Bay Multicultural Policy (2016) that provides opportunities for religious development to promote a sense of belonging for all people of all cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds.

Cultural/ religious landscape

The word of “Culture” is a challenged term in the social science, which means a shared custom, beliefs, traditions and histories, however, it is referred to the whole way of life or practices and lived experiences of people (Williams 1958). As the world becomes increasingly urbanized, bringing together people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds to live in the same space, make space’s culture difficult, Lewis Mumford demonstrated this as the biggest problem, the most promising solutions is to use a somewhat vague notion of cultures (Mumford 1970).

While a definition remains questioned in academic literature, the concept of culture has become an essential element in the landscape of contemporary cities around the world. This is the result in part of the transition from modern to post-modern society, the local response to globalization, and emerging environmental and lifestyle trends attracting a certain type of urban professional (Evans 2004). The culture/ethnic of cities, therefore, becomes the image and lifestyle of cities that attract diverse people, increase interactions by residents and visitors, and enhances the quality of life.