Following the premise that there is a relationship between appropriation of urban open spaces, cultural and socio-economic aspects of potential users (compositional factors), and aspects related to physical characteristics (contextual factors), this study investigates the process of sustainable appropriation of the urban space in cities with accelerated urban growth, occupied by different socio –cultural groups, namely German, Italian, and mixed background. Context & background: The network of public spaces represents the structure of cultural relationships, through which relationships can be supported or challenged. It is noted that appropriation of urban spaces occurs differently among cities, as well as between areas in the same city. According to the literature, urban spaces are different in terms of appropriation due to cultural forces - involving basic and functional needs, social community life and symbolic sense of public life -, and the physical structure of the place, which affect the conditions offered to perform the demanded activities - involving environmental qualities such as security, accessibility and environmental fit. Methodology: Performance evaluations were carried out in five neighbourhoods characterised by differences in cultural and socio-economic aspects, and aspects related to physical characteristics, located in the city Timb?, Brazil. Methodological procedures included mental maps, space syntax analysis, interviews, physical measurements, observations of behaviour, and questionnaires. Findings & Conclusions: The more intense relations extra –community are, the broader the social network is in order to establish common locals to diverse residents, and the most global integrated an open space is, the highest the level of sustainable appropriation by all kinds of socio-cultural groups of residents. New residents with lower income and mixed socio-cultural background have a broader social network dynamics from high local connected and controlled areas over global integrated ones, keeping relationship among people with different cultural and socio-economic background. Earlier residents, of German or Italian socio-cultural background show a limited social network dynamics over the city, limiting appropriation of urban space to their residential areas, establishing relationships with people from the same background. Both contextual and compositional aspects affect the social network development over the city, further affecting social sustainability appropriation in its local and global dynamics. Applicability to the field: The results contribute to the existing knowledge and outline recommendations that might support the social life dynamics of urban spaces.