The pre-eminence of the Kathmandu Valley is greatly portrayed by its public spaces. These spaces not only shape the image of the Valley but also help to maintain the quality of life that is associated with Nepalese society. The urban form of the Valley that prevails today is the result of progressive growth in the traditional settlements over different historical periods: the ancient Lichhavi period (440-750A.D); the medieval Malla period, (1200A.D-1768A.D); and the modern Rana period (1846 A.D-1951A.D). Contextualizing the open spaces, two distinct types of spaces- mono-cultural and multicultural- have been recognized since the Malla period with their own identities. Since the Valley is experiencing an unprecedented urban growth in the recent years with the periphery of the urban area expanding, this growth is introducing new meanings in the open spaces. Hence, this paper aims to analyse the meanings of place given to public spaces in the traditional urban centre (TUC) and sprawled area (SA) with reference to urban settings and their corresponding sensuous perceptions, patterns of activities that characterize the space, and perceptions of users regarding sense of community towards the spaces in the recent years. For this purpose, this paper focuses on two spaces that form part of a wider study. These are the market squares of Ason, an amalgamation of commerce and religious use in TUC; and Bhaisepati chowk, a fusion of commercial, social and recreational use in SA. A pragmatic approach is used that involves mapping of place identity (including physical settings, activities and their corresponding sensuous perceptions-visual, sound, smell, and touch); mapping of patterns of activities with classifications of number of occurrences of activities throughout a day; and interviews with users. The results for mapping of place identity are based on observations conducted in two consecutive years 2012/13 by the professionals (architects, planners, and engineers including researcher), and the mapping of patterns of activities is based on the observations conducted by the researcher alone in 2012. From the results, it can be concluded that the meaning of Ason square is predominantly depicted by places of religious and commercial settings whereas it is by places of social setting in the Bhaisepati chowk. Most of the elements of urban interest provide pleasant sensuous perceptions in both cases. Regarding the activities, the occurrence of the same types of activities in the same location, following the same spatial pattern in two years suggests that they have become the part of the identity of spaces in both cases. The interviews with the users show that ethnic pluralism has a strong role in sense of community in both cases. A stronger community attachment is found in the users of TUC than SA.