This paper will describe the initial findings of a doctoral research project. The project is concerned with the use of urban spaces between buildings in Egyptian residential areas, with special reference to Alexandria city. These residential spaces provide the major part of the public open space in the city. Alexandria city has differing traditional urban patterns and the typology of open space in residential areas varies from one part of the city to another. In the western districts near the seaport, the area is mainly a grid of straight streets, with low-rise buildings. The streets are of considerable width to cater for heavy goods traffic. To the south, a typical space consists of straight streets, which are often long and form a rigid layout. The buildings occupy all the blocks and are of an almost uniform typology, predominately apartment blocks built on small subdivisions of land, and building heights vary between two to ten stories. Except for the streets and a few squares, little open space is available for public use.