The study of ten small Slovenian cities is used in this doctoral dissertation to explore the connections between public open space state and inhabitants’ use and satisfaction with it. Deriving from the assumption that well-managed public open space improves the quality of life and stimulates urban development, the hypothesis has been formed that a well-managed and diverse public open space is more important for inhabitants’ satisfaction and spatial use than the overall quantity of public open space in a city. The hypothesis has been tested from the spatial and social points of view. Spatial analyses of public open space has been carried out as a spatial part of the research and a mail survey has been used for the sociological part of the research in selected small cities (Cerknica, Dravograd, Ljutomer, Metlika, Piran, Slovenske Konjice, Tolmin, Trebnje, Žalec and Železniki). To determine the statistical relationship between the two parts, a multi-variable analyses, methods of hierarchical clustering, correlation analyses and linear regression were used. The hypothesis was confirmed as it was established that a well-managed and diverse public open space contributes more to inhabitants’ satisfaction and public space use than the overall quantity of the public open space. City park and square without motorised traffic have been identified as the two types of public open space that contribute most to inhabitants’ satisfaction and use of these areas. There are also more people walking in densely populated cities and in cities where the square is a pedestrian zone. The study reveals the importance of diverse, well-managed, accessible, evenly dispersed throughout the city and pro-pedestrian public open space for quality of life. The focus should be on arranging areas that encourage daily use of public open spaces in small cities.